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Pioneer Methodist Preacher in Brooklyn. 








Corresponding Secretary of the New York East Conference 

Historical Society. 




► «-^^-»«— 



PHILLIPS & HUNT, 805 Broadway. 


Copyright 1885, by 


New York. 


There is much in the history of every church, and in the life-story of each 
individual Christian to illustrate and magnify the grace of God. A short time 
before that eloquent minister of Jesus Christ, Thomas Sewall, "rose in rap- 
ture to the upper skies," he said to a friend: "I reckon that most of the litera- 
ture of heaven will be the storied illustration of divine wisdom and goodness in 
the experience of poor, saved sinners. O my God! on those bright shelves of 
marvels, far down and obscure, yet there may a little tract be found, entitled, 
' How it pleased God through Jesus Christ, his Son, to save soul of Thomas 

While it is neither possible nor needful that there should be in this world 
such impartial, unerring, and all-comprehending records as heaven will dis- 
close, when "we shall know even as also we are known," yet in my opinion, 
we might and should possess a carefully prepared history of .the work of the 
people of God in each particular locality, and at least a brief record of the lives 
of the ministers and members of every church. This desirable work I have ac- 
complished in the case of one of the older and more prominent societies of our 
Methodism. The history of Old Sands Street Church for about one hundred 
years, including a roll of all the ministers, officers, etc. , is condensed into nine 
brief chapters, so that the far greater part of this work is biographical. About 
four score and ten pastors and presiding elders, most of whom are deceased, 
have by appointment of the authorities ministered to this church. To the care- 
fully written biographies of these preachers I have added as complete an ac- 
count as I could give of the nineteen hundred members whose names are found 
in the books. A friend, referring to the large number of memorials of eminent 
men here grouped about the history of one local church, with characteristic hu- 
mor remarked, "It seems like hanging a very heavy weight on a very small 

It will require but a brief paragraph to explain how this work came to be 
written. Having undertaken some years since to prepare a history of Method- 
ism in Suffolk County, N. Y. , I found that it would be well-nigh impossible to 
make a satisfactory history of the church within that small territory, which in 
the earlier days formed only a part of a large and well defined circuit, namely, 
the whole of Long Island. I then formed the purpose to prepare a Cyclopedia 
of Long Island Methodism, containing an account of every circuit and of every 
local church, (including sketches of the founders and prominent members,) also 
of every pastor and presiding elder — a work as yet incomplete, but on which a 
large amount of labor has been bestowed. Searching for facts on the west end 
of Long Island, especially concerning Brooklyn Methodism, I had soon accu- 
mulated so much material appertaining to the mother ot Brooklyn Methodist 
churches, that I was almost compelled to make a separate volume, entitled Old 
Sands Street Church. The prospect of the speedy abandonment of the orig- 
inal site so long and so successfully held by Methodism in Brooklyn, gave ad- 
ditional interest to the subject. The official board and many friends of the 
church and of the pastors expressed their hearty approval of my purpose, and 
this encouragement held me to my task when its accomplishment seemed al- 
most impossible. 

To one engaged in such researches it becomes painfully apparent that many 
noble ministers and laymen have passed away, of whose services the church 
has preserved no suitable memorial. On the other hand, after attempting to 
"count the dust of Jacob, or number the fourth part of Israel" within even a 
small territory, one just begins to realize how truly "the world itself could not 
contain the books," if memoirs of all the saints were recorded. 

It is not an easy task to prepare memorials of persons long since dead, about 
whom little or no timely record has been made. Dr. Abel Stevens writes thus 

iv Preface. 

concerning this kind of literary labor: " The private correspondence, the col- 
lection of documents, the harmonization of conflicting statements, the group- 
ing of events, lacking often the most essential connecting links, the portraiture 
ofcharacters historically important, but almost totally obscured in undeserved 
oblivion, present embarrassments which may well constrain the writer to throw 
down his pen in despair." ... , 

Avery few of the prominent ministers, whose life history is here given, turned 
aside from the right way. To have exhibited only the better side of their lives 
and characters, would- have been to write romance, and not history or biog- 
raphy ; therefore, the two or three who fell, are set for th as admonitory bea- 
cons. ' In this I follow the example of the chief historians of our Church, who 
record the backslidings of good and eminent men, and their lapse into crime. 

I have written, and here inserted, scores of memorials of the deceased wives 
of the preachers. This has cost a great deal of personal inquiry and corre- 
spondence, since comparatively little note has been made of them in the annals 

of our Church. 

In another direction my toil has been rewarded, namely, the diligent research 
concerning the posterity of the preachers, and the early members of old Sands 
Street Church, whereby I have been able to illustrate one important truth 
concerning the righteous, that " his seed is blessed." It may prove not a lit- 
tle instructive to observe how much stronger in some families of Methodist 
preachers and laymen, than in others, is the attachment to our own denomina- 
tion, and to study the reasons for that difference. 

It has been my aim to be accurate as to facts, names, dates, etc. ; but the 
mass of details is so great, and the chances for mistakes are so many, that it 
cannot, by any means, be supposed that I have avoided all errors. No known 
source of information has been neglected. I have made use of all the avail- 
able books containing the data required, besides innumerable newspapers, mag- 
azines, inscriptions on gravestones, manuscript journals, letters from hundreds 
of correspondents, and testimonies of hundreds of old people, many of whom 
have fallen asleep since my interview with them. In the foot-notes and in the 
body of the work I have given due credit to a large number of authorities. 

The portraits and other illustrations, to the number of eighty-six, have been 
obtained through much trouble and expense, but they certainly add greatly to 
the value of the work. Of the eighty-nine pastors and presiding elders, 
twenty-five died leaving no likenesses, at least none that can now be found. 
Portraits of twelve others are omitted, contrary to my earnest desire and 
solicitation. Upward of eighty interesting autograph signatures are herein 
reproduced. A few of those desired I have been unable to find. 

It is scarcely necessary to refer to the literary character of this work. The 
aim has been to put on record certain valuable facts in as direct and concise a 
form as possible, even at the sacrifice of an elegant and graceful style. 

The researching and the writing have been a labor of love, and with a con- 
sciousness of having attempted to perform a real service for the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, I now submit to the reader this imperfect fruit of my labor, 
in the hope that the reminiscences I have preserved will fill the mind of many 
an aged Christian with bright pictures of the past, and wake the 

" Echoes that start 
When memory plays an old tune on the heart." 

I trust, also, that these pages will serve as a source of instruction and inspira- 
tion to the middle-aged and the young, as they are hereby reminded how 
"other men labored," and we have "entered into their labors." And not a 
little satisfaction is afforded by the hope that, possibly, future writers concern- 
ing Methodism, will find in this volume a permanent record of valuable facts 
that would otherwise have been forever lost in oblivion. 


Clinton, Conn., February, 1885. 




1. Thomas Webb Frontispiece. 

2. Woolman Hickson Preaching his First Sermon in Brooklyn — opposite 6 

3. A Portion of Sands-street church-yard 11 

4. Brooklyn in 1798 12 

5. Old White Church 16 

6. Kirk's Printing-office' opposite 18 

7. Old Sands-street Church " 27 

8. Sunday-school Certificate of Admission 28 

9. Parsonage and Sunday-school Building on High-street 29 

IO. Sands-street Church — Interior View 40 

ir. Rev. Freeborn Garrettson opposite 69 

12. Rev. Henry Willis " 76 

13. Rev. Thomas Morrell " 79 

14. Rev. William Phoebus " 91 

15. Rev. Aaron Hunt " 100 

16. Rev. Ezekiel Cooper " 123 

17. Rev. George Roberts " 133 

18. Rev. William Thacher " 156 

19. Rev. Samuel Merwin " 164 

20. Rev. Elijah Woolsey " 179 

21. Rev. Daniel Ostrander " 187 

22. Rev. Reuben Hubbard " 192 

23. Rev. Lewis Pease 197 

24. Rev. William Ross opposite 206 

25. Rev. Nathan Bangs, D.D " 211 

26. Rev. Alexander M'Caine 216 

27. Rev. Peter P. Sandford, D.D opposite 225 

28. Rev. Henry Chase, A.M " 229 

29. Rev. Laban Clark, D.D " 232 

30. Rev. Stephen L. Stillman 244 

31. Rev.- Samuel Luckey, D.D opposite 247 

32. Rev. Seymour Landon " 252 

33. Rev. Noah Levings, D.D " 258 

34. Rev. James Covel. Jr., A.M " 263 

35. Rev. John C. Green 268 

36. Rev. Charles W. Carpenter 271 

37. Rev. John C. Tackaberry opposite 275 

38. Rev. John Kennaday, D.D " 279 

39. Rev. John Luckey. 283 

40. Rev. Bartholomew Creagh opposite 288 

vi Illustrations. 


41. Rev. William H. Norris opposite 296 

42. Rev. Fitch Reed, U.U 300 

43. Rev. Stephen Martindale opposite 304 

44. Rev John J. Matthias " 319 

45. Rev. John B. Merwin, D.D " 325 

46. Rev. John W. B. Wood " 328 

47. Rev. Henry J. Fox, D.D " 331 

48. Rev. Levi S. Weed, D.D " 334 

49. Rev. Buel Goodsell " 339 

50. Rev. Wilbur F. Watkins, D.D " 344 

51. Rev. Bernard H. Nadal, D.D " 351 

52. Rev. Daniel Curry, D.D., LL.D " 357 

53. Rev. Charles Fletcher " 360 

54. Rev. Benjamin Pillsbury, D.D " 365 

55. Rev. Bishop Edward G. Andrews, D.D., LL.D " 369 

56. Rev. Edwin E. Griswold, D.D " 373 

57. Rev. Thomas G. Osborn, A.M " 389 

58. Rev. Freeman P. Tower, A.M " 394 

59. Rev. George Taylor " 397 

60. Rev. John S. Breckinridge, A.M " 401 

6f. Rev. Ichabod Simmons, A.M " 405 

62. Memorial of Jacob Brown 416 

63. Rev. Daniel De Vinne opposite 424 

64. Hon. John Dikeman 430 

65. John Garrison 437 

66. John E. Hanford 440 

(>-. Joseph Wesley Harper opposite 441 

68. Memorial of J. Wesley Harper 443 

69. Joseph Herbert 446 

70. Aaron Kingsland 451 

71. Rev. Robert M. Lockwood opposite 456 

72. Rev. William M'Allister " 459 

73. Andrew Mercein 463 

74. Susanna Moser 457 

75. Joseph Moser 468 

76. I Ion. Moses F. Odell opposite 470 

77. Memorial of M. F. Odell 47I 

7$. Mary Powers ,yc 

79. William I. Preston opposite 476 

80. Rev. Elnathnn Raymond " 470 

81. Rev. Marvin Richardson, D.D 483 

82. Thomas Sands ^gg 

83. Rev. Nicholas Snethen 402 

' A. Robert Snow 4q6 

5. Memorial of the Summerfields 507 

86. George J. Yining c;6 






A RECORD OF TEN YEARS; 1787— 1796. 

A Pioneer Church — Capt. Webb and the First Methodist Sermon— Woolman Hickson — 
Sermon in the Street — Peter Cannon's Cooper-shop— Class formed— Date decisively As- 
certained — Thomas Foster, First Presiding Elder— John Dickins — Brooklyn an Outpost 
of New York Station — Henry Willis, Elder — Freeborn Garrettson joins Dickins in New 
York — Thomas Morrell, Elder, with Garrettson — Robert Cloud, John Merrick and Wil- 
liam Phoebus in New York and Brooklyn — J. B. Matthias visits Brooklyn — David Ken- 
dall appointed to Long Island in 1790 — Reinforced by Wm. Phoebus and Aaron Hunt^- 
Jacob Brush, Presiding Elder — Brooklyn becomes a part of Long Island Circuit— Small 
Class — Services in Private Dwellings — Benj. Abbott and his Colleague on ,Long Island 
— Brooklyn Sinners crying for Mercy — Accessions — Few Foot-prints remain — The Rec^ 
ord on High — Other Pastors; Brush, Ragan, Boyd, Totten and Strebeck— Nicholas- 
Snethen, a Class Leader in Brooklyn — Church Incorporated — First Trustees — First 
Church Edifice — Sermon by Bishop Asbury — Ezekiel Cooper and Lawrence M'Combs, 
New Preachers in New York and Brooklyn — George Roberts, Presiding Elder — Brook- 
lyn a Station— First Stationed Preacher— Thirty-five Members— Gradual Growth 5— u 


A RECORD OF TEN YEARS; 1797— 1806. 

A French Artist and his Picture of Brooklyn — Sylvester Hutchinson, Presiding Elder- 
Andrew Nichols and the Oldest Church Register — List of Members to the Year 1800 — 
Hannah Stryker — First Death— Richard Everitt — Cyrus Stebbins — David Buck— Pe- 
ter Jayne — Ezekiel Canfield — Church Edifice Enlarged — People Forsaken by a Pastor — 
Wm. Thacher, Presiding Elder — Samuel Merwin — Preachers' Boarding Place — James 
Harper — Price of Board — Samuel Thomas — Pastor's House Rent — Joseph Moser, Sex- 
ton — His Duties — Salary — Church-yard — Precious Dust. — Another Boarding Place— John 
Garrison — Oliver Sykes 12 — 14 



Joseph Crawford— Elijah Woolsey— John Wilson— Death of Mrs. Woolsey— Interesting 
Marriage Record — Slavery in Brooklyn — Daniel O strand er— Debt Cancelled — Parson- 
age Lot Given— Parsonage built— Andrew Mercein, Thomas Kirk and Gerge Smith, 
Building Committee— Reuben Hubbard— Ebenezer Washburn— Another Pastor leaves 
his Flock— Amusing Comment— The Station supplied— Thomas Drummond— Old 
Church, Dimensions— Negroes in the Gallery-The Building moved— New Church Edi- 
fice—Remembered as the "Old White Church"— Wm. Thacher's Labors— Asbury in the 
New Church— Lewis Pease stationed in Brookyn— Health fails— Thomas Drummond, 
(a second time) Pastor— Samuel Merwin returned— Nathan Emery and Joseph Craw- 
ford, Pastors— The Sexton instructed— Candle-light— Boys looked after— Catechism 

v i i i Contents. 

taueht by Thomas Drummond— List of Learners— Thomas Sands proposes the Estab- 
lishment of a Sunday-school— Kirk's Printing-office— DeVinne's School-room— Robert 
Snow Andrew Mercein, Joseph Herbert, Daniel DeVinne and John G. Murphy, 
Founders of the Sunday-school— Printed Address— Methodism takes the lead— De- 
vinne's Description of the School— Children saved from the Street— Wild Boys— Brook- 
lyn Sunday-school Union— Methodists among the First Officers— Union Sunday-school- 
Held in a District-school Building— Methodist Teachers— James Engles— Richard Corn- 
well and Wife— John Dikeman and wife — James Herbert 15 — 19 


A RECORD OF TEN YEARS; 1817— 1820. 

Presiding Elden, ~nd Pastors — Union Sunday-school — Lack of Teachers — Opposition 
from Church Memocrs— The School suspended— Resumed after three Years— Mew Sun- 
day-school Building— Happy New Year— Swarms from the Old Hive— Methodists left 
alone— Prosperity— Increase of Colored Members — Separate Place of Worship — Still un- 
der the Supervision of Sands-street Pastors— "African Asbury Methodist Episcopal 
Church"— Secession of the Colored People— Quarterly Conference Action — Subsequent 
Increase of Colored Methodists in Brooklyn— Alexander M'Caine resigns— Henry 
Chase succeeds him— Lewis Pease's Ministry — Revivals — Camp-meeting at Musketo 
Cove— Large Increase — Yellow Hook — Class formed — Germ of Bay Ridge Methodism — 
Original Members — Wm. Ross' Second Term— York-street Church organized — Death of 
Wm. Ross — M. B. Bull, Supply— Burial of John Summerfield — Thomas Burch and S. 
L. Stillman, Pastors— Class formed in Red Hook Lane — Gratifying Increase of Mem- 
bers. . . . , . • . . 20 — 23 



S. Luckey, S. L. Stillman and S. Landon, Pastors — Young Men's Missionary Society — 
Ann Eliza Luckey — Marsden VanCott — Anniversary — S. L. Stillman — Dr. Reese — D. 
Ostrander, Presiding Elder— N. Levings' and J. Covel's Ministry — Hempstead Harbor 
Camp-meeting — Revival — Sailors converted— "Grog stopped"— Another Refreshing — 

John N. Maffit — Committee on Delinquents — J. C. Green, C. W. Carpenter, J. Tacka- 
ury, Pastors — Washington-street Church and Parsonage erected — A Circuit with three 
Churches — Thomas Burch's Second Term — John Kennady — First Annual Conference in 
Sands-street Church — John Luckey — Property divided — Churches separate — Bartholo- 
mew Creagh — Salary $600.00 — Church Extension contemplated — Liberal Offer declined 
— No Steeples allowed — W. H. Norris' First Pastoral Term — Fitch Reed — Anothe^ Ses- 
sion of the N. Y. Conference in Sands-street Church — Stephen Martindale, Presiding 
Elder — Peter C. Oakley — First Board of Stewards— L. M. Vincent's Ministry — Revival 
—Old White Church demolished— Regretted by the Older Members — New Brick Church 
Dedication— Sermons by Chas. Pitman, Nathan Bangs, Noah Levings and David Reese 
—Vote against petitioning for a Favorite Minister— J. J Matthias, Presiding Elder — 
H. F. Pease, Pastor— N. Bangs, Pastor with J. C. Tackaberry— New Parsonage. 24 — z8 


A RECORD OF TEN YEARS, 1847-1856. 

J. B. Merwin and Dr. Bangs, Pastors— W. H. Norris Pastor a Second Term— Church and 
Parsonage burned and rebuilt— Building Committee— Sunday School and Class Rooms 
—Juvenile Missionary Society— Constitution— First Officers— Missionary Festival— 
Wesley Harper speaks— Ole Bull— Class Names adopted 29-31 



Statistics— Large Benevolent Collections— Chaplain M'Cabe— Pastors of this Period— List 
- of Presiding Elders— Holding the Fort -Interesting Anniversaries— Grand Missionary 
Jubilee— Model Way of Giving— L. S. Weed and D. Terry— Another Festival— Dec- 
orations— Musical Instruments— Old Fire Bucket— Henry Ward Beecher's Address- 
Almost a Century— Ever Young and Vigorous— Growth of the City— East River Bridge 
—Utter or $125,000 declined— What will become of the Church Organization?— Proposed 
Combination of Churches not accomplished— The Old Grave Yard— Outlook for Time- 
Outlook for Eternity— The Itinerant System Illustrated— Ten Thousand Sermons— Hal- 
lowed Memories— Unwritten History 32 _ 4 o 

Contents. ix 



i. A Chronological List of Presiding Elders— 2. A Chronological List 
of Pastors, with the Numbers reported, including Probationers, at 
the Close of their Respective Terms 41-44 



1. Local Preachers— 2. Licensed Exhorters — 3. Class Leaders— 4. 
Trustees— 5. Stewards— 6. First Male Sunday School Superintend- 
ents— 7. Second Male Superintendents— 8. Third Male Superin- 
tendents— 9. Fourth Male Superintendents— First Female Superin- 
tendents— ii. Second Female Sup'ts— 12. Secretaries— 13. Treasur- 
ers— 14. Librarians— 15. Organists— 16. Male Teachers :-Intermediate 
and Senior Departments — 17. Female Teachers :-Intermediate and 
Senior Departments — 18. Sup'ts and Teachers of the Infant Depart- 
ment-19. Officers of the Juvenile Missionary Society-20. Sextons. 45-58 




Founder of Brooklyn Methodism — Early History Unknown — Pastoral Record — Faithful 
Ministry — Rhoda Laws' Conversion — Thomas Haskins' Testimony— Hickson in New 
York and Brooklyn — Jesse Lee's and Dr. Wakeley's Account of his Last Hours — Ten- 
derly cared for — Lamented — Uncertainty concerning the Location of his Grave — Neither 
Portrait nor Signature 59-62 



Elder in Hickson's Time — Birth — Pastoral Record — Heroic Service — Primitive Notions — 
Fringes not allowed— Thomas Smith's Tribute — Useful Local Preacher — Death — Grave 
— His Wife — Of Methodist Stock — Sleeps beside Him 63-64 



Hickson's Colleague — Native of London — College Training — Joins the Methodist Church 
in Virginia — Conference Record — Asbury's Comment — Makes the First Move toward 
the Establishment of a Methodist Educational Institution in America — First to approve 
of the Organization of American Methodism— Author of the Name of the Denomination 
— J. B. Matthias hears Him — "My Thundering John Dickins" — Book Steward and Pas- 
tor — Two Men's Work — Founder of the Great "Book Concern" — Rapturous Death — 
Last Resting Place — Noble Traits — Eminent Attainments — First Methodist Pastor's 
Wife in this Region — A Protracted and Beautiful Life — Children of John and Elizabeth 
Dickins. 65-68 


His Eminent Rank— Native of Maryland — Methodist Influence— Converted on Horseback 
— Emancipates his Slaves — Alarmed to find Himself a Preacher — Ezekiel Cooper hears 

x Contents. 

him— Long Connection with Brooklyn— Persecutions and Labors— Herald of the Christmas 
Conference— Wesley's Choice for Bishop— General Conference Record— His New York 

District Compeer of Lee in New England — Perils and Accidents — Honorable and Happy 

Marriage— " Traveler's Rest "— Asbury's Friendship— Last Sermon— Last Words Tri- 
umphant—Memorial Stone— Character and Work— Mrs. Garrettson — Pioneer Methodist 
in Rhinebeck— Beautiful Life and Character— Miss Mary Garrettson— Brilliant Intellect 
—Incidents— Loving Zeal for God 69-75 


Presiding Elder and Pastor in Brooklyn — A Saint Indeed — Birth and Early Ministry — Min- 
isterial Record— Soul on Fire — Frail Body — Self-support— Letter to Freeborn Garrettson — 
Receives William Thacher into the Church — Lorenzo Dow's Marriage — Ordained by As- 
bury — Portrait— Canonicals — Triumphant Death— Burial— Asbury's Love for Willis — The 
Bishop Blesses his Children — Mrs. Willis— Daughter of an Eminent Layman— Rare In- 
telligence and Piety — Outlives Husband and Children — Death and Burial — Portrait Pre- 
served. .............. • 76-78 


Native of New York— Parentage — Brave Revolutionary Officer — Honorable Wounds — Con- 
version — Successful Failure in Preaching — Appointments — Builds and Dedicates Forsyth- 
street Church — Morrell and Dickins hold an Official Interview with Washington — Trav- 
els with Asbury — u Help Yourselves to Tea" — Answer to William Ham mett— Asbury's 
Comment — A " Solemn " Wedding — Unique Personal Appearance — Buried in a Vault — 
His Wives— Rev. T. A. Morrell, his Son 79-83 


Birth — Converted in a Soldier's Uniform — Pastoral Appointments — First Location on Record 
—Travels extensively — Why so little Known ? — The Reason Suggested — His Fall — Re- 
instated — Labors in the West — President of a State Bible Society — Adheres to the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church— Peaceful Death— His Grave— A Positive Character— His Likeness 
Lost— Mrs. Cloud— Six Children— Dr. Caleb Wesley Cloud 84-88 


Place of Birth Unknown— Probably a Revolutionary Soldier— Pastoral Record— Rev J P 
Fort's Discovery— Merrick's Great Public Power— Peter Vannest's Recollections— As-1 
bury s Prediction— Merrick's Death— His Bones Discovered— Memorial Tablet. . 89-90 


Pre-eminently a Brooklyn Preacher-Birth-Conference Appointments-Member of the 

Christmas Conference-General Conference Delegate-How he matched Benj. Abbott- 

AK-rf u- L° ca A tlon -P h ys iclan and Editor-Death-Burial Place-Character Unique 
—Ability Highly Appreciated _ 




U ^AK^^^lt^ W ^^^^-^ Ym in the Active Ministry 


Contents. xi 


Birth— Boyhood— A Happy Convert— Leads in Family Prayer— Hears Benj. Abbott— Ap- 
pointed Class-leader— First Sermon— Sent to Long Island— Conference Record— Little 
Farm— Small Salary— Location— Introduces Methodism into Danbury, Conn --"Accord- 
ing to Discipline "— " Breaks up New Ground "—The People wonder-Originates the 
Motion to adopt the Two Years Rule— Introduces the Custom of inviting Penitents to 
the Altar— Wife dies— Second Marriage— Stilwellite Secession— An Old Connecticut Law- 
Mr. Hunt contends for Methodist Preachers' Rights— He wins— His Last Days— Closing 
Hours— Position and Character— Place of Burial— His Three Wives and his Chil- 
dren 100-108 



A Most " Memorable " Man— Unpromising Youth— Rescued from the Depths of Sin— Fam- 
ily Blessed— Begins to Preach— " Hell Neck "—Persecution— Great Power attends his 
Words— Joins Conference— Appointments— Not a Learned Man— " Thundergust Ser- 
mon —Happy Death— Ostrander's Memorial— Mrs. Abbott— David, their Son. 109-114 


An Irishman— Joins Conference in America — Appointments— Traces of him in New 
Brunswick— Greatly Useful on his Last Charge— Death by Yellow Fever— Grave— An 
Honorable Tribute by his Brethren 115-116 


On Long Island Circuit in 1792— Brief Record— Marriage in Nova Scotia— Withdrawal from 
the Church— Returns to the United States— Efforts to Trace him Further as yet Unsuc- 
cessful II7 


Dedicates the Original Sand-street Church— First Stationed Preacher — Birth — Conversion — 
One of the Founders of Staten Island Methodism — His Marriage — Itinerant Record—Gen- 
eral Conference Delegate — Old Rule concerning Quarterage for Preachers' Children 
adopted on his Motion — Last Sermon on Staten Island — Selects a Burial Place; — Sudden 
Death — Burial — Character — Personal Appearance— His Wife — His Descendants. 118-120 


Oneof Asbury's " Promising Young Men " — Brief Itinerant Career — Becomes a Lutheran 
Minister — Then an Episcopalian — Remarkably Popular for a Time — Founder of Zion 
Protestant Episcopal Church, New York City — He and his Friends establish St. Ste- 
phen's Church — No Permanent Success — Comments of Dr. Wakeley — Remarks of the Rev. 
J. H. Price — Goes South — No Further Definite Traces of him. . . . 121-122 


Native of Maryland — Hears Freeborn Garrettson — A Lasting Impression — Sixty-two Years 
in the Itinerancy — Seven Times General Conference Delegate — Long Island his First Cir- 
cuit — Founder of Several Prosperous Societies — Pastor in Brooklyn — Leads C. W. Car- 
penter to Christ — Abel Stevens' Account of Ezekiel Cooper — Great Learning and Eloquence 
— Powerful Debater — Another Izaac Walton — Business Talent — Book Agent — Private Fort- 
une — Legacy — Oldest Methodist Preacher in America — Peaceful Departure — Funeral — 
Burial — Portrait. . 123-127 

xii Contents. 


A Native of Delaware — Converted in Youth — Conference Record — Early Ministerial Suc- 
cess— Location— Peaceful Death— Final Resting Place — Opinions of Kennaday, Scott, 
Clark, and Others— Characteristic Letter— Personal Appearance— Brief Account of his 
Two Wives 128-132 



Of English Parentage — Graduates from the Chimney Corner — Poor Clothes for a Preacher — 
Marriage — Wife's Early Death — Conference Record — Pioneer in New England — Labors 
and Privations — Receives Lorenzo Dow into the Church — Second Marriage — His Location 
explained — Physician and Local Elder — Rapturous Death — Resting Place in Mt. Olivet 
Cemetery — Dr. Stevens' Eulogy — Mrs. Susannah Roberts — Asbury's Affectionate Tribute 
— Beautiful Life and Death — Dr. George C. M. Roberts and other Children. . 133-137 


A Family of Preachers — Native of New Jersey — Born Again — Record as a Conference 
Preacher — Voice like a Trumpet-blast — Thrilling Pictures of Pioneer Work — Personal 
Appearance — Various Accounts of his Trouble with Asbury — Land Agency — Marriage — 
Assists in founding the A. M. E. Zion Church — Joins the Methodist Protestant Church 
— Unaccomplished Purpose to return to his Former Church Home — Death and Burial- 
Wife and Children. 138-141 


Author of the Oldest Known Pvecord of the Members of Sands-street Church — List of his 
Appointments — Pastor in New York — A Soul Winner — Wakeley's Interesting Story — Lo- 
cated — More ought to be Known concerning Andrew Nichols 142-143 


Birth— Pastoral Record— In his Youth a Pungent and Powerful Preacher— Not Satisfied 
with Methodist Doctrines and Usages— Becomes an Episcopalian Clergyman— Comments 
by Dr. Abel Stevens, Lorenzo Dow, and Others— Honors Received — Twice Married — Per- 
sonal Appearance— Death and Burial 144-146 


Birth and Conversion -Itinerant Record -Marriage and Location— Asbury holds forth in 
his Paper Mill— A Shining Light on Long Island— Elijah Hebard's Testimony— Buck's 
Missionary Zeal— Happy Death— Burial Place— Mrs. Buck— Friend of the Itinerants— Her 
Grave in Seanngtown 147-140 


-Personal Description— Dr. Stevens' Tribute— Mrs. Jayne and the Children. . 150-153 


Eulogized by Stevens-Native of Connecticut— Conversion— Conference Record— Marriage— 
Some 1 races of his Work-Last Days Triumphant— Death, Funeral, and Burial-A Good 
Record— Mrs. Canfield. ... „,.,.. 

154 J S5 

Contents. xiii 


Porn of Congregational Parents in Connecticut— Learns the Tailor's Trade — Converted 
Among Methodists in Ealtiniore — Returns to New England — Jesse Lee Introduces him 
to the New York Methodists — His Marriage — Wife Converted — Pioneer Methodists in 
New Haven — Long Ministerial Career — Poor Outfit and Poor Salary — Four Preachers 
from the Converts on One Circuit— The First Camp-meeting East of the Hudson and the 
First on Long Island held under his Direction — Wife dies — Second Marriage — Enterpris- 
ing Church Builder— Old White Church—" Chops a Yoke in Two "—Fights Many Bat- 
tles — Champion Opponent of Abolition — Centennial Sermon — Death and Burial — Personal 
Description — A Veteran Teetotaler — A Pointed, Practical Preacher— Some Account of 
his* Wives and his Children 156-163 


Of English Ancestry — A Native of Durham, Conn. — Fell from the Piety of his Childhood — 
Restored Through Methodist Influence — Conference Appointments— Some Events of his 
Ministry — Death and Burial — A Truly Great Preacher — Exceedingly Popular — Interesting 
Testimonies by Asbury, Reed, Bangs, Luckey, Osborn, and Stevens — Widow of Peter 
Jayne — Married Mr. Merwin — Survived him Eight Years — Their Children. . 164-168 



Scanty Records Concerning his Early Life — A Methodist in New Jersey — Conference Ap- 
pointments — Revival in Brooklyn — Most Valuable Fruits — Honorable Tribute in Confer- 
ence Minutes — His Removal to Ohio — Peaceful Death — Burial Place — Family almost 
Forgotten 16^-170 



Birth and Boyhood — Unusual Serious Impressions — Calvinistic Instructions — Conversion — 
Call to Preach — Dejection — Joins Conference — Appointments — Early Promise— Physical 
Infirmities — Happy Death — His Grave in Stratford — Eccentricities— Bequest to the China 
Mission — Quotation from his Journal 171-174 



His Nativity— Conference Record— Great Success in Vermont— Laban Clark's Spiritual Fa- 
ther—A True Evangelist— His Relation to Bishop Asbury— Affecting Farewell— Mrs. P. 
P. Sandford's Testimony— Incidents— Sudden Close of his Ministry— Rev. Cyrus Prin- 
dle's Letter— Mr. Crawford's Last Years in Sandusky, O.— His Death and Burial Place- 
Personal Description — Rev. A. D. Knapp's Letter 175-178 


Birth— Religious Training— Methodist Preachers— Conversion— Enters the Ministry— Con- 
ference Record— Pioneer Work in Canada— Unconquerable Zeal— Hardships— Romantic 
Experiences— Wife dies in Brooklyn— General Conference Record—" The Supernume- 
rary "—Last Days— Burial Place— Personal Appearance— Some Elements in his Character 
— First Wife's Grave in Sands-street Church-yard — Second Wife— Dr. Finch s 
Letter 179-183 


Native of England— Trained in Piety— A Methodist from his Youth— Emigrates to America 
—A Local Preacher there— Conference Record— Marriage— Scholarship— Holiness his 
Theme— Conference Secretary— Asthmatic Affection— Grave in Forsyth-street Uiurch- 
yard l8 4- lS6 

xiv Contents. 


Rugged Ancestry— Early Conversion — Conference Appointments — Pioneer in New England 
—Remarkable General Conference Record— Unbroken Health— Marriage— Calls out Mar- 
vin Richardson — Portraiture by Gilder — Semi-Centennial Sermon — From Sixteen to Sev- 
enty-two in the Service of the Church— Death and Burial — Marked Characteristics — Clear 
Discernment — An Incident — Mrs. Ostrander's Interesting Character and History — De- 
scendants of Daniel and Mary Ostrander 187-191 


English Ancestry— Born in Massachusetts— Early Connection with Methodism— Epitome of 
his Ministerial Services in Two Churches — Member of One General Conference — Glimpse 
of his Early Ministry— A Letter — Leaves the Methodists — Becomes a Hard-working Epis- 
copalian Itinerant — Dr. A. B. Carter's Eulogy — A Well-merited Tribute — Death and Bu- 
rial of Mr. Hubbard— His Wife and Children 192-195 


Much of his History Unknown — Pastoral Record — The Children's Spiritual Instructor — 
Charged with Crime and Expelled 196 


Born of Pious Parents — A Thoughtful Youth — Calvinistic Notions — A Happy Deliverance — 
Itinerant Record — A Frail Body — Great Revivalist — Unparalleled Success in Sands-street 
— Bereavement — Consumption — Happy Death — Burial — Dr. Wakeley's Description of 
Lewis Pease — Twice Married — His Widow marries Rev. James Erwin — Memorial by Dr. 
Reddy 197-200 


Birth and Ancestry — In his Boyhood One of the Founders of Methodism in Maine — A 
Youthful Preacher— Itinerant Record — Ebenezer Washburn's Testimony — Marriage — His 
Name Associated with the Establishment of Sunday-schools in Brooklyn — David "Holmes 
Converted under his Ministry — His Life in the West — Passes safely through Death's 
River — His Grave — His Wife and Daughter — J. B. Finley's Testimony. . . 201-205 


Twice Pastor of Sands-street Church— Birth and Education— Flees from a Ball-room to seek 
Christ— Erects a Family Altar— Enters the Itinerancy— Appointments— War of 1812— 
Driven out of Canada— Delicate Health— Receives Rev. S. Landon into the Church— Gen- 
eral Conference Record— A Popular Preacher— Joyful Premonitions— Triumphant Death 
—Buried in Sands-street Church-yard— The Body Removed— Wife and Children. 206-210 


A Son of Connecticut— Farmer Boy in New York State— School-teacher— Teacher and Sur- 
veyor in Canada— Converted Among the Pioneer Methodists— Adopts Methodist Customs 
—Enters the Itinerancy — Ministerial Record— Heroic Service and Hard Fare— A Lesson 
concerning Impressions— A Sister who could Exhort— Marriage— Heman Bangs— Long 
Horseback Ride— Vast and Varied Labors— General Conference ^Record— His Relation to 
Our Great Publishing, Missionary, and Educational Institutions— Marked Elements of 
Character— Death— Funeral— Burial Place— Brief Family Record. . . . 211--15 

Contents. xv 


Born and reared in Ireland — Intended for the Ministry of the Established Church — Becomes 
a Methodist — Soon afterward a Pastor in the United States — Ministerial Record — Twice 
Located — The Cause — His Daughter's Recollections of Sands-street Church — Coke and 
Asbury — General Conference Record — Leading Agitator and Author among the Reform- 
ers — List of his Works — Account of his Death and Burial — Portraiture of his Character 
— The Two Wives and Five Children of Mr. M'Caine. ..... 216-224 


From a Reputable Family — Inclined to Preach when but a Very Young Lad — Conversion — 
Ministerial Record — Dr. Noah Levings One of his Spiritual Children — Leading General 
Conference Delegate— Marked Ability — Authorship — Honorary Degree — Triumph in 
Death — Grave — His Two Wives and his Thirteen Children 225-228 


Of Quaker Parentage— Ambitious and Diligent in his Studies — Conversion — Ministerial Ap- 
pointments — Pre-eminently the Sailor's Friend — -Marries Ten Thousand Couples — His 
Recognized Scholarship — Fine Personal Appearance — Death and Burial — Wife and Chil- 
dren. .......... 229-231 


Birth and Childhood — Disposed to Think for himself concerning Calvinism — Attracted to 
Methodism— Calls it the " Old Bible Way " — Joseph Crawford leads him to Christ — 
Becomes at once a Pioneer Worker — Associate of Martin Ruter — Itinerant Record — Dr. 
N. Levings Converted under his Ministry — A Founder of the Missionary Society and of 
Wesleyan University — Semi-centennial Sermon — Honorary Degree — His Long Life comes 
to a Close — Burial Place — Characterized in Stevens' History and New York' Conference 
Minutes — Two Wives and a Daughter 232-236 


An Irishman — Converted Young — Emigrates to New York — Ministerial Record — Pastor of 
Sands-street Church as a Supply— His Valuable Memoranda— Great Industry— Health 
fails — Locates— Prospers in Business— A Faithful Steward— Diligent as a Local 
Preacher— Inclined to Second Adventism in 1843— Personal Description— Death— Burial- 
Manuscript Sermons — His Three Wives 237-239 


Native of Ireland— Parents Members of the Established Church— Converted through the 
Labors of Gideon Ouseley— Soon afterward a Class Leader and Local Preacher in America 
— Encouraged by Henry Boehm — Conference Record — Sent to Canada at a Critical Time 
—General Conference Record— Last Sermon— Death and Burial— Samuel Luckey's Trib- 
ute— Dr. Bangs' Description— Wife and Children 240-243 


Born of Seventh-Day Baptists in Connecticut— Joins the Baptists in Childhood— Later be- 
comes a Methodist— Conference Pecord— Laborious Circuits— Great Revival in Albany- 
Death— Burial Place— Eulogized in Conference Memorial— Two Wives and Five Children 
of Mr. Stillman 244-246 

xv j Contents. 


,.- t_ a t? i ruK t ;,„ Fxnerience— Conference Record— Pioneer Labors in Canada— In- 
Birthand Early Chnstia t i^"™^™ Uegr ees-Civil Promotion-Three Times Del- 
C,de r n ^~rene«fconferen^ Books-Remarkable Activity in Old Age 
!?H?s De^th de'sSbed-His Grave-Fine Tribute by the Minutes of his Conference- 
Three Wives and Seven Children 247 251 


o a n^Aor- lvr^tVmrlUt Influence — Incidents of his Boyhood— A Solemn Question— 
R Br'ughY o'chHsf Jnde?the Ministry of William Ross-Enlightened on. Calvinism but 
nit Converted to the Doctrine-Persuaded to forego a College Training-Conference 
Recorf-Death and BuHal-Kis Character sketched by Dr. G. L. Taylor-Total Absti- 
? en « Movement-Abolition-Stern Fidelity to Principle-Victonous at Last-An Appro- 
priate Testimonial-Mrs. Landon— Their Children 252-257 


His New England Home-Removes to Troy, N. Y.-An Apprentice-Laban Clark aids 
the Poor Blacksmith Boy-Samuel Luckey discovers Rare Promise in him— An Affecting 
Scene— Conference Appointments— Incidents of his Ministry in Brooklyn— Revival in 
Schenectady— Honorary Degree— Thrice a Member of General Conference— Literary Re- 
mains—Fair Haven Church -A Wonderful Sermon— Bishop Clark s Estimate of Dr 
I evings— Personal Description— Dies away from Home— Final Resting Place— Wife and 
Children 2 5 8 ~ 262 


Son of a Methodist Minister— His Early Conversion— A Young Preacher— Pastoral Record 
—Preaching with his Coat off -A "Boy Team" — "Not Convinced" — Three Days' 
Meeting in Brooklyn— Tobias Spicer's Testimony — Revival in Troy— Scholastic Attain- 
ments—Literary Works— Personal Appearance— Death — Funeral — Burial — Mrs. Covel — 
Her Children's Beautiful Tribute to her Memory 263-267 


Native of New York city— Son of a Physician — Pastoral Record — Charged with Intemper- 
ance — Acquitted — Trouble concerning Maffit — Withdrawal — Pastor of a Congregational 
Methodist Church — Green versus Pierce — Mr. Green Vindicated — Not a Teetotaler — 
Death and Burial Place — Wife, her Birth, Death, and Burial — List of the Children. 268-270 


Son of a Pioneer Methodist — Native of New York — Converted in Sands-street Church — Tells 
his own Story — Columbia College— First License — Ministerial Record — In Business in 
the South — Sag Harbor— Conference Record— General Conference — Death and Burial — 
Encomiums by Judge Dikeman and Dr. Luckey — Mrs. Carpenter — The Children. 271-274 


Born in Ireland — Methodist Parentage — His Brother a Preacher— Residence in Quebec — Con- 
version — License and Ordination — Conference Appointments — Visits Europe — Perils — 
Thrilling Experience — An Uncongenial Colleague — W. H. Dikeman's Testimony — "Walk- 
ing Concordance 1 ' — Failing Health — Death and Burial— Family. . . . 275-278 

Contents. xvii 


Eorn in New York— His Father an Irish Catholic— Conversion— Heman Bangs his Spirit- 
ual Father — First I ove-feast Testimony —The " Silvery Voice" — Begins to Preach -ap- 
pointments—Remarkable labors — Marriage— Twenty-two Years in Five Churches— Sud- 
den Death — Tribute by Bishop Janes— A^anship's Testimony— Great Skill as a J pintual 
Helper and Instructor— Mrs. Kennaday— Her Admirable Character — Recent Leath— List 
of the Children 279-282 


Brother of Samuel — Ancestry — Pious Mother — Early Conversion— License to Exhort— List 
of Appointments— Organized the Flushing Circuit — Married to Miss Rutherford — South- 
old Circuit — Wonderful Work among the Poor and the Prisoners — C. C. North's Record — 
Western Home— Luckey's Chapel— Visited by an Old Friend— Last Farewell— Public and 
Family Worship — Closing Scenes— Buried in Sing Sing — Mrs. Luckey and the Chil- 
dren ' 283-287 


Birth — Ancestry — Trained and Confirmed in the Church of England — Methodist Meetings — 
Complete Consecration at Sixteen — Ambitious Worldly Plans — All Renounced for the 
Gospel — Thorough Preparation —Emigrates to America — Enters the Itinerancy — Saintly 
Character — Dr. Prime's Tribute— Social Qualities — A Lover of Nature — Beautiful Letter 
to his Daughter — Incident at Wildercliffe— Miss Garrettson and Mrs. Ohn — 1 ersonal In- 
fluence— General Conference — Leads the Delegation — Dr. Bushnell's Friendship- Effect 
of Bishop Hedding's Death — Mr.Creagh's Triumphant Departure — Testimonies of Eminent 
Ministers — Mrs. Creagh — A Quiet and Useful Life — "Palace Beautiful" — Bereavement — 
"Grand Step beyond the Stars." 288-295 


Two Successful Terms in Sands-street Church — A Worthy Ancestry— Converted Young — 
Ministerial Record — Several Re-anpointments to Important Stations — Continuous Revivals 
— Dr. F. Bottome's Portraiture of his Character — iJr. Curry's Statement — A Useful Mis- 
sionary^-His Services in Demand — Literary Work— Great Affliction — Death and Burial — 
The Family 296-299 


Born in Amenia, N. Y. — A Convert under Marvin Richardson's Ministry — Abandons 
Medical Studies for the Ministry — A Distinct and Emphatic Call — Appointments — A 
Frail Young Man — Interesting and Amusing Reminiscences — A Hard Circuit, a Subject 
for Thanksgiving — A Gospel Pioneer in Canada — Marriage — General Conference Record — 
Honorary Degree — Blessed Experience in Old Age — Death— Burial Place— His Family— 
A Fitting Memorial adopted by his Conference. 300-303 


Son of a Methodist Local Preacher— Orphan Boy — Itinerant Record— A Scanty Support- 
Revivals — Father Taylor and Boston — General Conference Record — Long and Active 
Ministry — Happy Death — Funeral — Burial Place — Admirable Characteristics — How he 
made Methodists of his Children — Mrs. Martindale— A Remarkable Woman— Pleasing 
Testimonials— The Children — A Gratifying Record 304-310 


Of Good English Stock — Born in New York— Savingly Impressed by a Printed Sermon— His 
Father's Sudden Death — Apprenticed to Harper & Brothers— Joined Old John-str^pt 
Church— Student in Wesleyan Seminary -Ministerial Record— Fifty Years of Uninter- 


xviii Contents. 

rupted Work — No Murmuring— Twice Married — Reminiscences of Old Sands-street 
Church — A Tranquil Old Age— A Remnant of ihe family Left — Brief Memorial of his 
First Wife 3 II_ 3i3 


Early Home by the Hudson— His Father dies— Experience of a " Farmer Boy "—Bitter 
Repentance — Precious Fruit of Faithful Cross-bearing— Reluctant to Preach — His First 
Sermon — Last Call to Some of the Hearers- Conference Record— Successful Pastorate in 
Brooklyn— Incidents— Brief Note concerning his Family 3 J 4 _ 3 l8 


Son of a Noble Methodist Preacher— Learns the Printer's Trade— Called of God to the Min- 
istry—Successive Stations— Appointment to Africa— Chaplain toSeamen-On the Retired 
Li st — Death and Burial— Eulogistic Testimonies— Extract from one of his Sermons— His 
Two Wives— His Son 3 J 9~3 22 


Born of Congregational Parents— Converted in Youth— Engaged in Business— Seminary and 
College — Enters the Ministry — List of Appointments — An Honored Pastor and Presiding 
Elder— Brief Notice of his family 3 2 3 _ 3 2 4 


Son of the eminent Samuel Merwin— Taught by Ruter, Bascom, and Durbin, of Augusta 
College — Conference Record — Honorary Degree — General Conference Delegate — A Re- 
markable Ride — A Truly Honorable Life Record 3 2 5~3 2 7 


Well Born — Methodist Ancestry — Studies Interrupted — Years Spent on the Ocean — A Loud 
Call — An Honest Answer — Converted at a Camp-Meeting — Conference Record — Revivals 
— Brief Characterization — Wife and Children 328-330 


Of Wesleyan Parentage— Native of England— Joins a Small Sect -of Methodists — Afterward 
becomes a Wesleyan Methodist— A Preacher among them — Welcomed in New York — 
Ministerial Appointments — His Scholarship Recognized and Honored — Services during 
the War— Experience in the South — Successful Lecturer and Author — Useful Preacher 
and Pastor — Brief Note concerning his Family. . 33'~333 

levi s. weed. 

Birth— Conversion— An Evangelist from the First— Theological Studies— Literary Course- 
Mistaken Counsel concerning a College Training — Conference Record— Sands-street 
Church— Pleasant Facts and Opinions -Personal Appearance— Well-earned Popularity- 
Missionary Sermon— General Conference— Honorary Title— Marriage and Bereavement- 
Some Account of his Family ,...,. 334-338 


Presiding Elder of Long Island District— A Good Record— Birth— Early Conversion— Con- 
ference Appointments— General Conference Record— Marriage— Bereavement— Brief 
Glance at his Character and Work— His First Wife— Her Triumphant Death— Mr. Good- 
sell's Widow— His Children 339~34t 

Contents. xix 


German Ancestry— Native of Ohio— Only Survivor of his Father's Family— Boyhood— 
laste for Reading— College Course— Conversion— Ministerial Record— General Confer 
ence— Degrees— Eminent as a Preacher, Pastor, Theological Professor and Author -Wife 
Deceased— I he Children 042-3 


Native of Baltimore— Early Call to the Ministry— Seminary and College-An Itinerant of 
the Primitive Type— Epitome of his Ministerial Life- -Two Years in a Theological School 
—Brief Pastoral Supply in Sands-street Church— Revival- -Marriage— Popular and Useful 
Preacher— becomes an Episcopalian— Reasons for the Change— Mr. Tibbals' Sketch- 
Large and Wealthy Parishes— Remarkable Gifts— Mrs. Watkins— The Children. 344-347 


Birth and Training— Restless under Discipline— A Runaway— His Conversion— Ministerial 
Record— Duplicate Appointments— Transfers— His Conference Memorial— Dr. Crooks' 
Estimate of his Eloquence and Learning— Fletcher Harper's Guests— Dr. Hagany's Sud- 
den Death— b uneral— Grave— Mrs. Hagany- The Daughters 348-450 


Father born in France, of Catholic Parents — Mother a Methodist — Maryland his Native 
State— An Apprentice— Converted — Saddle-making and Studying Combined— Conference 
Record — Marriage — Pastor and Student at the Same Time- -His Graduation — Honorary 
Degrees — Patriotism — Drew Seminary — Death and Burial — Glowing Testimonials by Dr. 
Punshon, Bishop Foster, Dr. Buttz, and others — An Interesting Family. . . 351-356 


Ancestors — Birth — Youthful Occupations — Early Christian Life — Graduation — Professorship 
- Conference Record — Marriage — Titles — General Conference Record — Remarkably Sus- 
tained Prominence in the Church — Bibliographical Record — A Veteran Editor — Dr. Buck- 
ley's Statement — The Family 357 _ 359 


Of English Birth— A Bright Boy — Small Advantages — Early Conversion — Youthful Preacher 
— Trained in the Factory — Begins Life in America — Foster's Interesting Account — Confer- 
ence Record — Locates — Conscience not at Rest — Re-enters the Itinerancy to stay— Ele- 
ments of Strength — Plainville Camp-Meeting — Dr. Buckley's Estimate — Did he Write his 
Sermons? — Sickness and Death — Greenwood — His Wife— Niece of Samuel Marsden — Ad- 
mirer and Valuable Assistant of her Husband — Homesick for Heaven— Rest at Last — 
Their Two Sons 360-364 


Review of his Term as Presiding Elder of Long Island— Birth and Ancestry— Small Advan- 
tages well Improved — Wesleyan University— Difficulties overcome — Honorable Rank in 
his Class— Conversion— Early Success in Holding Meetings— Theological Course— Minis- 
terial Record— Events of his Ministry— General Conference Record— Honorary Degree- 
Some Account of his Family 365~368 


Of New England Stock— Methodist Parentage— Dr. Buckley's Notice of the Bishop's Mother 
—Edward One of Eleven Children— A Christian Family— A Young Student at Cazenovia 

xx Contents. 

-Wesleyan University-Early Christian Work-School Teacher-Ministerial Record- 
Voice f^fs-Some Years in Charge of Literary Institutions-Honorary Degrees-M.ssion- 
arvSern on-Other Addresses-Sands-street Church Records-Valuable member of the 
New York East Conference -General Conference Delegate-Bishop-Personal Description 
—Family 3°9 37» 


Birth-Family Connections-Childhood-Conversion-" Comfortable Assurance" -A Young 
Class Leader- A Studious Boy-Marriage-Call to Preach-Mr. Hubbe 1 s Account-Con- 
ference Record-Four General Conferences-Leads his Delegation-Degree of D.LX- 
Death and Burial-Marked Excellences-His Memory Chenshed-His tirst Wife-Her 
Patient Suffering-Happy Death-Dr. Gnswold s Widow and Children. . . 373-377 


Son of a Methodist Preacher— Sketch of William Wyatt— Grandson of Reuben Reynolds- 
Birth— Conversion— First License to Preach— Chaplain in the Army— College Course- 
Conference Record— Two Deceased Wives— Third Marriage— Excellent Fruits— The Min- 
istry of Affliction 378-380 


Son of an Aged Local Elder — Five Preachers in the Family — Early Conversion — Conference 
Record— Army Chaplain — Drawn into Politics — Member of Congress — Eloquent Lecturer 
— Some Characteristics— His Two Wives Deceased 381-383 


Patriotic and Pious Ancestry— Native of Boston— Student in Germany — Apprentice in Con- 
necticut — A Brilliant and Attractive Lad — Old Methodist Meeting-House — Kettell's Con- 
version— Dr. Hunt's Account of it — Steady Progress — Marriage— Preacher's License- 
Pastoral Record — Deserved Promotion— Loss of an Eye — United States Consul — Degree 
ofD.D. — Sudden Death — Funeral — Impressive Services -Encomiums — "Christian Advo- 
cate"— Conference Memorial— Dr. Kettell's First Wife— His Widow. . . 384-388 


Ancestry— Methodist Parents-Notable Gifts and Services— Methodism in Riverhead L I — 
Birthplace of T. G.Osborn— Franklin Academy— Wesleyan University— College Honors - 
A Law Student— Ministena Record-Great Success in Southampton, New York, and 
Other Places-Impaired Health-Personal Description-Mrs. Osborn— Surviving Children 
— 1 hree Wives in their Graves— Children Deceased % 389-393 


Genealogy-Birth-Student and Teacher-Early Conversion -College Course-Ministerial 

5 e C °on=:wX^^?tr V Tr- ed "P Ur ^" Bui - ld 1 ing E ^rprises in Connecticut CaliSnia and 

shirf The rK'.it. \ ^-Financial Agency- Success-E. O. Haven Professor- 

drenT P Funeral - Bnef Portraiture of Mr. Tower-Mrs. Tower-Their Chil- 



N oteScat?ch!lT^Vi 0dis l Pa . re " ta gf-ChiMhood Piety-Classical Instruction-The- 
ological school— Local Preacher in England— His Church Home in New York— Ministe- 
ml^Appomtments-Mamage-Family-Brief Description-General SnfaSce S 

Contents. xxi 


Born of Methodist Parents— Converted in Youth— Was Graduated atWesleyan University- 
Ministerial Record— A Testimonial— Conference Secretary— General Conference Delegate- 
Principal of a Seminary— Presiding Elder— Personal Appearance— First Wife Deceased- 
Present Wife and Children 


Native of Dublin— Methodist Parents— Converted Young— Attended a Wesleyan Methodist 
School— Dr. Robert Crook his Teacher— Some Time in a Lawyer's Office— Four Years in 
the Irish Conference— Epitome of his Ministry in his Native Land and in America— Mar- 
riage— Pulpit Talent— Social Qualities— An Episcopal Clergyman— Reason for Leaving 
the Methodist Episcopal Church 40 o 


Son of a Methodist Minister— A Noble Mother— Young Breckinridge's Conversion— An In- 
teresting Story — Thorough Preparation for his Chosen Life- Work— God's Blessing on his 
Ministry — European Tour — Lectures — Sermon on" Eternal Punishment" — Patriotic Serv- 
ice—Published Articles — Personal Description— Wife and Children. . . 401-404 


Native of Massachusetts — Father a Universalist — Mother not a Church Member — Conversion 
--First License to Preach — Cabinet Maker— Student at Newbury, Concord, Northfield, and 
Middletown — Pastorat the Same Time — Ministerial Record — Singleness of Purpose — Bap- 
tism of the Spirit — European Tour— Successful and Beloved — Wife and Daugh- 
ters 405-406 


Closes the Succession to Date — Son of a Methodist Local Preacher — Native of England — Of 
a Large Family — Converted at Nine Years of Age — Sent to School — A Local Preacher in 
England — Begins to Itinerate in Indiana — A Course of Theological Study — Conference 
Record — Marriage — Highly Esteemed. 407 




Preliminary. 408 

Abbreviations 4°9 

Record op Members 409-520 


Here is the carefully written story of Christian work in- 
augurated a hundred years ago in a quiet village, now growr 
to be the third city of the land. The aim and merits of the 
volume are so readily discerned, that it needs no introduc- 
tion, yet I am glad of an opportunity to declare that I feel 
myself strongly attracted by this and other efforts to pre- 
serve the record of the struggles and victories of the found 
ers of Methodism. The author of the work deserves hearty 
thanks for his conscientious, careful and successful efforts 
to rescue from oblivion so many of the original materials 
out of which in due time the philosophy of Methodist his- 
tory must be constructed. 

It cannot have escaped the notice of those who are even 
partially familiar with the best Christian writers of recent 
years, that their allusions to Methodism are for the most 
part, discriminative and kind. If the doctrines or the polity 
of the denomination are criticised, the spirit of the criticism 
is dignified and respectful. Since Thomas Chalmers pro- 
nounced the oft-repeated encomium, many pleasant things 
have been spoken concerning Methodism; but neither Irs 
"Christianity in Earnest," nor any other word which has 
fallen under my eye, seems so rich and so hearty as that 
which was spoken by Alexander Vinet, the Swiss divine who 
has been styled the Pascal of the Reformed Church. "Meth- 
odism," he says, "the object of our earnest respect, is only 
Christianity trying to be consistent. Here, after all, lies its 
glory and its crown." We surely must not accept this trib- 

2 Introduction. 

ute in the spirit of self-complacency and pride, or we shall 
prove that it was unmerited; but, on the other hand, we 
should be untrue to the God of our fathers, if, when thought- 
ful men of other branches of the Church of Christ find so 
much to attract them in Methodist doctrines and usages, we 
should hold these doctrines and usages with indifference, or 
even with formal affection. It has been asked whether the 
period has not been reached when positive modifications 
should be made in our denominational polity. The ques- 
tion is very broad, and of great moment, and it deserves 
careful consideration. It will be well for us to move 
prayerfully, seeking light not only from the most discreet 
and experienced men of our own communion, but also from 
thoughtful minds of other branches of the Church. Before 
we abandon or materially modify our own methods, 
we should ascertain the recognized wants of other denomi- 
nations. These convictions have been most impressively 
awakened of late by some fervid paragraphs I have met in 
the writings of Dale of Birmingham, the gifted successor of 
John Angell James; in which, without mentioning, and 
probably without a thought of Methodism, he waxes ear- 
nest in his advocacy of measures which are thoroughly 
Methodistic. In an address on "The Communion of Saints," 
delivered before the Congregational Union of England and 
Wales, he says: "I ask you to consider whether in addition 
to our present services it would not be well to institute ser- 
vices of altogether a different type, in which a free inter- 
change of religious thought might be encouraged. We know 
too little of the perplexities and troubles by which the souls 
of our brethren are saddened; the perplexities might be re- 
lieved, and the troubles lightened, if they had opportunity to 
speak of them frankly. The discoveries of God's love which 
are made to the individual Christian, are not all intended 
merely to perfect the peace and confirm the strength of the 

Introduction. 3 

soul that receives them; they belong, not to the individual 
merely, but to the Church. We shall never fulfill God's 
idea of our relationship to each other, until every man that 
enters the Church feels that he has come into the 'household 
of faith' — a household in which no heart need suffer alone, 
and in which the joy of one member is the joy of all." This 
celebrated divine, in speaking thus, proves clearly that he is 
looking for a Methodist class meeting. It is equally clear 
that he approves of a lay ministry, since we hear him de- 
clare in an address on "The Holy Spirit in relation to the 
Ministry, the Worship and the Work of the Church:" "I long 
to see a great army of preachers rising up among the people 
themselves — preachers who shall be familiar, as the wealthy 
cannot be, with their sorrows, their hardships, their pleas- 
ures, the passions by which they are stirred, the hopes by 
which they are animated, their skepticism and their faith; 
and who shall speak to them, in their own tongue, of the in- 
finite love of God, revealed to mankind through -Christ Jesus 
our Lord. And what reason can be alleged why Christian 
merchants, manufacturers, professional men and tradesmen 
are not more frequently called to the pastorate? * * * It is 
one of the evil traditions which we have received from eccle- 
siastical communities founded on principles which are alto- 
gether different from our own, that no man can become a 
minister, and yet abide in the same calling in which he was 

Such sentiments from such a source, I submit are worthy 
of our most careful consideration. At a time when some 
among us are speaking of the "class meeting" and of the 
"local ministry" in terms of indifference, if not of dispar- 
agement, we find one of the most profound, sagacious and 
polished men of our times, declaring that the Independent 
Churches of Great Britain are in pressing need of the help 
whicn onlv the most informal social service and the lay min- 


istry can supply. The Methodist Episcopal Church ap- 
proaches the close of its first century. While devoutly 
thankful for the triumphs of the past, may we have 
grace to cherish, in all coming time, the usages which 
have been so largely instrumental in making our fathers 

joyous and strong. 

The honored and devout worthies of "Old Sands Street" 
who have passed away, have left us a priceless legacy. They 
were an honored part of a great multitude who revered the 
perfections of the infinite God, and were grateful for His 
numberless mercies; who repented of sin after a godly way, 
and trusted in Christ like little children; and whose emo- 
tions of reverence, and gratitude, and penitence and trust 
found expression in fervent prayers, and in heart-felt songs 
of contrition or of gladness. If our second century shall 
prove as it ought, to be better than the first, it will be be- 
cause nothing artificial or perfunctory shall be allowed to 
displace the simple service of song, the informal prayers, 
the direct and searching appeals to the conscience, and 
the patient efforts to win souls, which have characterized 
the genuine followers of Wesley always and everywhere. 
Above all may we in our day cherish, as our fathers cherish- 
ed, the unwavering conviction that the Infinite Father is so 
near to us, one by one, that each for the asking, may have 
grace to take up the jubilant cry of the Psalmist, "The Lord, 

liveth, and blessed be my Rock." 

Albert S. Hunt. 

§ |ai|fe |treet ||e4 



A RECORD OF TEN YEARS; 1787— 1796. 

he "Mother Church" of Brooklyn Methodism out- 
ranks in age all other ecclesiastical organizations 
save two, in "The City of Churches." As early as 
1768, Capt. Thomas Webb preached in Brooklyn, 1 which was 
then a rural hamlet, less populous than Jamaica or New- 
town, where he likewise preached, and laid the foundations of 
Methodism on Long Island. There were people in Brooklyn 
who occasionally heard Thomas Webb in the sail-loft in New 
York, 2 and it was probably in the house of some friend by 
whom he had been invited, that he held forth the word of 
life in this suburban neighborhood. In the frontispiece of 
this work, he is represented as he appeared when preaching, 
and in fancy we may very easily group about him his little 
Brooklyn congregation. 

There is no history or tradition of other Methodist preach- 
ers in Brooklyn until after the Revolution. In two or three 
other places on Long Island, where Methodism had taken 
root, it barely survived the demoralizing effect of the war, 
and the number of members on the island, reported in 1784, 
was only twenty -four. 

Rev. Woolman Hickson, while stationed in New York, 
came over to Brooklyn, and preached in the open air, upon 
a table, in New-street, afterward named Sands-street, near 

1 Methodist Quarterly Review, 1831, p. 260. 

2 Stiles' History of Brooklyn, vol. iii, p. 700. 

5 Old Sands Street Church. 

the site of the present Sands-street Church. A motley group 
appears in the picture, such as would naturally assemble in 
a rural neighborhood for an out-door service conducted by 
an old-time Methodist preacher. The antique dress, the low- 
roofed houses, the old scow ferry-boat, and the unoccupied 
hills of Manhattan Island remind us strongly of a hundred 

years ago. 

The result of Woolman Hickson's holy raid beyond the 
outposts of his station in New York comprises the theme of 
this book, and doubtless furnished a theme for celestial an- 
thems. The effect of his preaching was such as to make him 
welcome to return; for, upon his offering to visit the neigh- 
hood again if a place could be found for a meeting, a friend 
named Peter Cannon proposed to open his cooper-shop near 
the ferry, and make it as comfortable as possible for the con- 
gregation. The best authorities 3 say that soon after this time 
Woolman Hickson formed a class, the first organized in 
Brooklyn. These events transpired in 1787, and from that 
time we trace the history of Brooklyn Methodism. 4 

3 Noah Levings in Meth. Quar. Rev.. 1831, p. 260. Wakeley and Stevens 
follow him. 

4 In regard to this date discordant statements have been made, whereby some 
confusion has arisen. In 1831, on the authority of the then "living remnant 
of the first class," the Rev. Dr. Noah Levings wrote: "This class must have 
been formed about the year 1785 or 1786," — Meth, Quarterly, 1831, p. 260. 
Stiles, following him, gives the same dates in his History of Brooklyn. The Rev. 
J. L. Gilder, in an article in The Christian Advocate, Feb. 29, 1882, shows 
from the record of appointments in the Conference Minutes, that Mr. Hick- 
son's fields of labor 1782-1786 were far distant from Brooklyn, and forthwith 
arrives at the following conclusion; "If the first class was formed in 1785 or 
1786, then it could not have been formed by Woolman Hickson. If Wool- 
man Hickson, as is claimed and conceded, organized the first class, the origin 
of Methodism in Brooklyn dates back as far as 1 781 or the early part of 1782." 
A communication by the present writer appeared in the same paper, March 
19, proving from the early trustees' record of the John-street church in New 
York— the "old book" quoted by Wakeley in Lost Chapters, p. 315— that 
Hickson was pastor in New York in 1787, and reference was made to Wakeley 
and Stevens to confirm the statement that during that year he formed a class in 
Brooklyn. In a later article this statement of the historians was summarily set 
aside by Mr. Gilder as "obviously a non sequitur and wholly inferential," not- 
withstanding the foregoing testimony by Dr. Levings, taken from the lips of 
the earliest members, that the class was formed "about 1786" and notwithstand- 
ing the unquestioned fact that Hickson was stationed within a mile of Brook- 
lyn in 1787, while he is not known to have been within scores of miles of that 
place at any other time. Wakeley and Stevens decided upon evidence quite con- 
clusive, that Hickson organized the class in 1787; their critic decides without 
evidence, that before Mr. Hickson began his ministry in Maryland, that is, pre- 
vious to 1732, he must have been in Brooklyn and established Methodism there. 














i— < 



Historical Record. 7 

Thomas Foster was presiding elder in this region that 
year. John Dickins was colleague of Woolman Hickson in 
New York, and doubtless rejoiced with him in the addition 
of this little Brooklyn company to their pastoral charo-e. 
The Memoir of Garrettson informs us that he came from the 
South, and labored a few months in New York previous to 
the Conference of 1788, during which time he must have 
been considered one of the pastors of this society. Henry 
Willis was appointed elder in 1788. The New York preacher 
having charge of Brooklyn, was John Dickins. Dr. Levings 
says, "Brooklyn continued to be visited occasionally by the 
preachers stationed in New York, and by the local preachers 
residing there." At first this place was unquestionably an 
outpost of New York station. 

In 1789, F. Garrettson and T. Morrell were assigned to 
the eldership in the New York District. Robert Cloud, John 
Merrick and Wm. Phcebus were the New York preachers. 
At the same time Phcebus was in charge of Long Island cir- 
cuit with John Lee, junior colleague. Lee's Journal proves 
(see note 4) that during the part of the year covered by his 

He bases his belief that Hickson would not be likely to form a class in 
Brooklyn in 1787, on the fact that "he was in impaired health." But ill health 
could not quench the zeal of such an evangelist. He died in the harness. 

Mr. Gilder assumes that because of its geographical location, Brooklyn must 
have belonged to the Long Island charge from the beginning, and asks, "What 
call had Woolman Hickson within the bounds of another circuit?" Dr. Lev- 
ings furnishes the following reply: "From this time [about 1786,] Brooklyn con- 
tinued to be visited occasionally by the preachers stationed in New York, and 
by the local preachers residing there. At this time also, the whole of Long 
Island was but one circuit, and but one preacher was appointed to it. At what 
particular time Brooklyn became one of the regular appointments on this circuit 
we cannot say." 

The "Life of John Lee" contains a full account of his labors as the colleague 
of Wm. Phcebus on L. I. circuit in 1789, and we trace him from Comae to 
Searingtown, Rockaway, Newtown, and many other places, but search in vain 
for the slightest mention of Brooklyn. The reason is that Brooklyn was cared 
for by New York city preachers. Aaron Hunt's MS. Journal states that in 
the Conference year 1790 he preached regularly in private houses in Brooklyn, 
as one of the Long Island circuit preachers. Previous to that date there is no 
evidence that Brooklyn was supplied by Long Island pastors. Hence the sup- 
posed unknown date of its first becoming a part of L. I. circuit is 1790. This 
little society was remote from all others on Long Island, Newtown being the 
nearest, while it was easy of access to the New York preachers, and for two 
years or more they seem to have had charge of Methodism here. This arrange- 
ment was so natural and convenient that some years later (1794) Brooklyn was 
taken from Long Island circuit, and attached to New York. From the fore- 
going facts we do not hesitate to name 1787 as the date when Methodism in 
Brooklyn took organic form. 

8 Old Sands Street Church. 

term, Brooklyn was not connected with Long Island circuit, 
hence we infer that this year also, the pastors of the Brook- 
lyn society were the preachers stationed in New York. 
J. B. Matthias had joined the John-street Church, and, by 
permission of the preachers, was already on the wing, going 
about and holding meetings. His memoir says he visited 
Brooklyn, and quotes his own words: "Many a happy time 
have I had with that small society." 

In 1790 Brooklyn was taken into Long Island circuit. 
David Kendall stands on the Minutes as the preacher for 
Long Island, but it appears that Wm. Phcebus, though ap- 
pointed to New Rochelle, came to the Long Island circuit, 
and, Kendall being sick, he was reinforced by a young local 
preacher, Aaron Hunt, appointed to travel as a supply. 
The presiding elder was Jacob Brush, who seems to have 
taken the place of Thomas Morrell appointed to that post. 8 
Aaron Hunt writes concerning this field in the conference 
year 1790: "This circuit extended from Brooklyn, (where we 
had a small class and preached in a private house), over ev- 
ery considerable part of the island." 6 

In 1 79 1 Benjamin Abbott joined Wm. Phcebus on the 
Long Island circuit , and began his year's work in the little 
hamlet of Brooklyn. He writes: 

I received my appointment to Long Island, and accordingly took my station. 
The next day I preached to a small congregation with life and power. The 
Lord attended the word with success. Some young ladies were cut to the heart, 
and one gentleman cried out for mercy, and before meeting ended he found 
peace and joined the society. Next day I went to Newtown. 7 

It is manifest that Brooklyn is here meant though not named, 
because there were at that time only the Newtown and 
Brooklyn societies on this end of the island. He says further: 

I then returned and went to the place where I began my circuit. Here, 
while I rode this time round the circuit, four or five were added. Next day I 
went to Newtown. 8 

These few incidents, with the appointments in the Confer- 
ence Minutes, furnish all the information we have concern- 
ing the labors of Methodist preachers in Brooklyn during 
seven years beginning with the date of the apostolic preach- 

5 Compare Conf. Min., 1790, and Stevens' Memorials of Methodism, p. 120. 

6 Unpublished Journals. 7 Life of Abbott, p. 179. 8 Ibid., p. 184. 

Historical Record. o 

ing by Woolman Hickson in the cooper-shop and in the 
street. So quickly do the waves of time wash away the foot- 
prints of men! But we know who the preachers were, and 
it is enough to know that their faithful words and deeds are 
recorded in God's book. 

Long Island circuit continued to be manned by two preach- 
ers, and Brooklyn remained an appointment on its western 
boundary until the conference of 1794. During this time 
those earnest servants of God, Jacob Brush, John Ragan, 
James Boyd, Joseph Totten and George Strebeck, opened 
the word of life to the little companies of Methodist wor- 
shippers assembled in such places as they could find before 
the church was built. Totten and Strebeck labored alter- 
nately a month in Brooklyn and a month in other parts of 
the island. By this arrangement they were enabled to sup- 
ply Brooklyn constantly with preaching and other pastor- 
al attentions. 9 

In the absence of any known source of information, it is 
impossible to record the name of any person as having cer- 
tainly been a member of this church previous to 1793. At 
that time John Garrison joined the only Methodist class in 
Brooklyn, and Nicholas Snethen was his class-leader. 10 
Wakeley's statement, repeated by Stevens, that Nicholas 
Snethen was appointed class-leader by Woolman Hickson is 
an error, because Mr. Hickson died in 1788, and Mr. Snethen 
first professed faith among the Episcopalians in 1789, and 
joined the Methodists in 1791. 11 

The church was incorporated in 1794 under the title, "First 
Methodist Episcopal Church in the town of Brooklyn, Kings 
County, Nassau Island." 12 

At a meeting held May 19 of that year, at the house of Pe- 
ter Cannon, the following persons were elected the first 
board of trustees — John Garrison, Thomas VanPelt, Burdett 
Stryker, Stephen Hendrickson, Richard Everit and Isaac 

9 Levings in Meth. Quar. Review, 1831, p. 260. 10 Ibid., p. 261. 

11 Compare Sprague's Annals, Wakeley's Lost Chapters, p. 312, Stevens' His- 
tory M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. no, and vol. iii, p. 260. See sketch of Snethen 
in Book III. 

12 The act of 1693, changing the name of Long Island to Nassau Island, it 
is said, has never been repealed, but has become obcolete by disuse. Stiles' 
Hist, of Brooklyn, vol. i, p. 205. 

io Old Sands Street Church. 

Moser. They purchased from Joshua and Comfort Sands 
a lot fronting on New (afterward Sands) Street, and com- 
menced the erection of a house of worship. 13 The cor- 
ner stone was laid ty the Rev Wm. Fhcebus, at that time 
stationed in Brooklyn as a supernumerary; and a sermon 
was subsequently preached on the foundation by the Rev. 
David Buck, a young man about entering upon his itinerant 
labors— from Isa. xxvm, 16; "Behold 1 lay in Zion for a 
foundation a stone," etc. 

The Rev. Joseph Totten of Long Island circuit preached 
on the occasion of the dedicatory service, Sunday, June i, 
1794, taking his text in Exodus xx, 24: "In all places where 
I record my name," etc. 

On a Sunday morning in the following October, Bishop 
Asbury preached here; and again in 1796, he writes: 

I went over to Brooklyn where we have a small society. I had very few 
hearers except those who came from the city. I administered the sacrament 
and we had some life. We then returned to the city, where I preached to about 
1,600 people, some of whom were wicked and wild enough. . O when will 
the Lord appear as in ancient times? 14 

The old church books contain records of Bishop Asbury s 


The first pastors after the church was built were Ezekiel 
Cooper and Lawrence M'Combs of "New York and Brook- 
lyn" charge, with Wm. Phoebus, Jacob Brush andDavid Ken- 
dall, supernumerary preachers. 

In .1795, George Roberts was presiding elder, and Brook- 
lvn became for the first time, a separate station, Joseph Tot- 
ten, pastor. He left thirty-nine members at the close of the 
year, having found thirty-five at the beginning. 

The next year, 1796, Freeborn Garrettson was presiding 
elder for a third term, and Wm. Phoebus was a third time 
appointed to preach the Gospel in Brooklyn. A gain of 
eleven members was reported at the close of the year. 

13 This was more than ten years previous to the erection of the first St. Ann's 
church. See Stiles' Hist, of Brooklyn, vol. ii, p. 108, 

14 Asbury's Journal, Ed. 1852, vol. ii, pp. 243, 310. 

Historical Recof d. 

1 1 

BROOKLYN IN i7g8-(As seen from the north.) 
Showing the Original Sands Street M. E. Church. 


A RECORD OF TEN YEARS; 1797— 1806. 

tiles' History of Brooklyn contains a wood-cut, 
from which the above is copied. The original 
sketch was accurately made by a French artist 
four years after the first Methodist church was built. It is a 
view from the New York side of the East River, about oppo- 
site Navy Yard Point. In the distance, on the right, are New 
York Bay and Bergen Point; nearer, Governor's Island, 
the East River, and the old Brooklyn ferry-house; and in 
the center, partly hidden by the sail of the sloop, is probably 
shown the original Sands-street church, built in 1794. 

In the year 1797, the second year of Wm. Phoebus' third 
term as pastor, Sylvester Hutchinson being presiding elder, 
the membership increased from fifty to eighty-one. The earli- 
est known register of members was made at the close of the 
Conference year 1798, (Andrew Nichols, pastor,) and from the 
records beginning at that time, we copy the names of all who 
are known to have been members of Sands-street Church, up 
to the close of the eighteenth century. 1 

1 For memorials of nearly all the founders of this church, see Book III. 

Historical Record. x ~ 

Thomas Van Pelt, trustee, and Sarah his wife; John Gar- 
rison, leader and trustee, and Mary his wife; Burdett 
Stryker, trustee, and Hannah his wife; Richard Everit, trus- 
tee, and Sarah his wife; Isaac Moser, leader and trustee, and 
Susannah his wife; James DeGraw, leader and trustee, John 
Hastings, and Deborah his wife; Joseph Moser, Margaret 
Moser, Ida Moser, Jeremiah Smith, Hannah Smith, Caleb 
Shreeve, Meliscent Shreeve, James Herbert, Joseph Webb, 
John Leaneigh, Samuel Engle, Sarah Engle, John DeVos- 
nell, Joseph Herbert, John Harris, John Cornclison, Wil- 
liam Foster, John Trim, John Schnell, Anna Schnell, Mary 
Powers, Jemima Kissam, Sarah Hillear, Catharine Johnson, 
Rebecca Lynch, Anna Sutliff, Mary Denton, Elizabeth Rote, 
Sally Howzy, Leanah Smith (afterward Eany Valentine), 
Anna Day, Betsey Dale, Leah Connor, Eleanor Ward, Ra- 
chel Cannon, Lany Acker, Eleanor Ferguson. 


Abraham Anthony, Susannah Anthony, Peter Anthony, 
Wm. Thompson, Hannah Thompson, Thos. Hartley, Harvey 
Anderson, Thomas Bristol, Caty Jackson, Dinah Benson, 
Susannah Thomas, Adam Francis, Bethany Stewart, Mary 
Dolph, Frances, John Grace, Isaac Minix, Thomas Peterson, 
Philip Leonard, Cornelius Anderson, Caty Anderson, Titus, 
Nanny, Sarah, John Graw, Nelly. 

It will be observed that some of the black people in those 
days had no surnames, and the names they were called by 
would hardly distinguish them from dogs and horses; but 
even such names, we cannot doubt, are written in the Book 
of Life. 

On a stone in the church-yard is inscribed the name of 
Hannah Stryker, who departed this life in 1787. If tradition 
be true, she joined the original class, and was the first of the 
Brooklyn Methodists to gain a crown of immortality. Rich- 
ard Everit, a trustee, died in 1798, and his is the earliest obit- 
uary record in the old church books. 

Cyrus Stebbins and David Buck complete the list of pas- 
tors, to the close of the eighteenth century. There had been 
a decrease in membership for a year or two, and at the Con- 
feience of 1800, the number of members reported was only 

14 Old Sands Street ChureJi. 

fifty-four. In three years thereafter, under the administra- 
tion of David Buck, Peter Jayne and Ezekiel Canfield, the 
number had reached the former maximum, seventy-three. 

In 1804, while Cyrus Stebbins was pastor a second term, 
the church building was enlarged. Fie withdrew from the 
denomination in December of that year, and Ezekiel Cooper, 
the book agent, supplied the vacancy until conference. 
Wm. Thacher was then presiding elder. Mr. Cooper contin- 
ued as the stationed preacher from the June conference, 1805, 
but the old record states that Samuel Merwin occupied the 
station the last quarter, from February till the conference in 
May, 1806. 

These preachers boarded with James Harper, the grand- 
father of the celebrated Harper Brothers, the price of board 
being fixed by the trustees at $3.25, or twenty-six York shil- 
lings per week. 

The next name on the list of preachers is that of Samuel 
Thomas, associate pastor with Ezekiel Cooper in 1806. The 
trustees agreed to pay his house-rent, and the sum to be paid 
was $160.00 per annum. During the same year it was 

Resolved: That there shall be a new set of steps erected at the front door of 
the church, and seats in the altar all round frcm the altar door, also that of a 
dark night, when there is a public meeting, the sexton shall light the lamp at 
the church door. 

Joseph Moser was sexton on an annual stipend of ^7 
and grave digger's perquisites. Previous to this time the 
Methodists had begun to use the church-yard as a burying- 
ground, and the trustees adopted a resolution that none but 
regular attendants upon divine service in this church, should 
have the privilege of interment there; and furthermore, that 
"no person guilty of suicide could be buried in this ground 
under any pretence or condition." 

Here was originally interred the sacred dust of Summer- 
field and Ross, and many of the early Brooklyn Methodists. 
There many of them remain, and the visitor may read upon 
the mossy tomb-stones their names and modest epitaphs. 

In the trustees' record, January, 1807, there is a minute, 
stating that Ezekiel Cooper had left Brooklyn for the South, 
and that Oliver Sykes came to board at John Garrison's on 
the 2 1 st of January. Sykes was junior pastor with S. Thomas. 


A RECORD OF TEN YEARS; 1807— 1816. 

t the conference of 1807 Joseph Crawford was ap- 
pointed to the New York District; Elijah Wool- 
sey and John Wilson were stationed in Brooklyn. 
These pastors found two hundred and twenty-five members, 
and left two hundred and fifty-three. During: this conference 
year preachers and people mourned the death of a pastor's 
wife, Mrs. Electa Woolsey The following curious record 
may be seen in the old church book: 

Jacob and Susan, joined together in marriage, October 12, 1807, by me, 
Elijah Woolsey — Consent of George Bennett, owner. 

Many of the most respectable people of Brooklyn held 
slaves at that period, and the institution did not come to an 
end until about 1825. After a pastoral term of one year, 
Messrs. Woolsey and Wilson were succeeded by Daniel 

In 1808, Joshua Sands, an Episcopalian, canceled a debt of 
one hundred dollars, the amount due him for land on which 
the church was built, and in the following year he gave the 
society a lot for a parsonage, on High-street adjoining the 
church property. Andrew Mercein, Thomas Kirk and George 
Smith were the parsonage building committee, appointed in 
January, 1809. During the next conference year, the pastor, 
Rev. Reuben Hubbard, withdrew from the Methodists, and 
we find this amusing note in one of the church records: 

Cyrus Stebbins left the Methodist connection, and joined the Church of Eng- 
land. He is stationed in Schenectady, and was formerly stationed in Brooklyn. 
Little Reuben Hubert left our connection, and joined the Church. He was for- 
merly a Methodist preacher, stationed in Brooklyn. Poor things! 

Rev Thomas Drummond, of the Philadelphia Conference, 
was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mr. Hubbard. 
The length of the church edifice having been increased pre- 


Old Sands Street Church 

vious to 1810, it was now sixty feet long aud thirty feet 
wide, with end gallery for the Africans. 1 The congregation 
having increased beyond the capacity of the church, the pastor 
offered a resolution which was adopted Sept. 10, 1810, to build 
a new church edifice. George Smith, one of the official 
members, purchased the old structure, and it was moved to 
the Jamaica turnpike, (Fulton Street), opposite High Street, 
and devoted to various purposes. In one part Judge Garri- 
son held court, and in another the leaders met their classes. 
The pastor, Wm. Thacher, labored with remarkable energy. 
He states that the brethren were inclined to increase the size 
of the original building, fearing to incur the expense of a 
new edifice. He writes: 

The challenge was given by the preacher, "Put me in command, and I will 
show you that it is easier to raise $3,000 to build than $1,400 for enlarge- 
ment." The result was a house 70 by 42 feet, with galleries and furniture, at 
a cost of $4,200. Subscriptions, $3,300; sale of old church $260; raised at 
dedication $220; in all $3,780. This increased the church debt $420, 
but resulted in the enlargement of the congregation, the conversion and addi- 
tion of souls to the church, and an improvement of the finances. 2 


This new edifice was provided with seats for more than 
twelve hundred persons. It is remembered as the "Old 
White Church." Bishop Asbury preached in the building, 

1 Thacher's MS. Autobiography. 

MS. Autobiography. 

Historical Record. 1 7 

Sunday, May 17, 18 12, and described it as an "elegant house." 3 
At the expiration of the conference year 181 1, an incident 
occurred which is thus narrated by Mr. .Thacher: 

It was at a love-feast, and I spoke in the following terms: "Brethren, I now 
close my labors as your preacher. You have paid me all my claims, and that I 
may not be suspected of any sinister design, I tell you that I ask no favors for 
myself; but I speak in the interest of my successors. You are in the habit of 
paying $350 for the support of a married preacher. New York pays $500 for 
the same purpose. They know that the whole of this is needed to support a 
family, and let me tell you that no man has paid so much to support your 
preacher as Wm. Thacher. I ask you to give more in the future to the sup- 
port of your preachers. As to myself I have no claims on you." 

The meeting was dismissed, the trustees remained in the house and voted four 
hundred dollars for the next preacher, and then surprised me with a gift of sixty 

The remaining pastors during this decade were Lewis 
Pease whose health failed, Thomas Drummond a second 
term, Nathan Emery and Joseph Crawford. The old trus- 
tees' record contains the following resolution adopted in 
the year 18 15 : 

Resolved, that the sexton be instructed to have the church open and the can- 
dles lighted at least a quarter of an hour before meeting begins, and to see that 
the boys make no disturbance. 

Thomas Drummond has the honorable distinction of hav- 
ing formed the first class of children in Sands-street church 
(so far as the record shows) for instruction in the catechism. 
We here transcribe the complete roll of this class of juvenile 
learners, and should the reader chance to recognize the names 
of now aged parents or friends he will be pleased to find this 
recorded testimony to the fact that they in their childhood 
were taught the knowledge of God. 

A Register of the Children that learn the Methodist Catechism, Brooklyn, 
March 1, 18 14. By me, Thomas Drummond. 

Thomas Garrison, Cornelia Garrison, George Smith, Sarah Smith, Samuel 
Moser, Pelmiah Duryea, Fannie Duryea, Nancy Hoey, Mary Fowler, Amelia 
Jackson, Hiram Richardson, Henry Moore, Ann Tunstill, Sarah Smith, EHza 
Ann DeGraw, Maria DeGraw, Elizabeth Cann, Mary Ann Pray, Nancy Valen- 
tine, Eliza Herbert, Mary Herbert, Lucinda Vail, Hannah Bennett, Ebenezer 
Bennett, James Herbert, Benjamin Richardson, Hannah Snell, Eleanor Cozine, 
Mary Thomas, Mary Ann Higbie, Lenah Ann Wiliams, Deborah Smith Has- 

3 Asbury's Journal, Ed. 1852, vol. iii, p. 386. 

j g Old Sands Street Church. 

This was a pioneer work among the children, and was ex- 
actly two years in advance of the first Sunday-school move- 
ment in Brooklyn. 

On the nth of February, 1816, while Nathan Emery was 
pastor, at a meeting of the quarterly conference, Thomas 
Sands, a local preacher in this church,— subsequently a large 
shipping merchant, and mayor of Liverpool, England — pro- 
posed to establish a Sunday-school in the village of Brook- 
lyn. The following is a copy of the record: 

Brother Sands proposed setting up a Sunday-school. The conference agreed 
to give him their aid. 

The school was accordingly organized — the first Sunday- 
school in Brooklyn,— and the credit of the suggestion be- 
longs without doubt to Mr. Sands, although it is not known 
that he was actually engaged in forming or conducting the 
school. The children were brought together on the Sabbath 
in a building known as Thomas Kirk's printing office, a 
long, narrow framed edifice on Adams-street, between Sands- 
street and High-street, in an apartment then occupied as a 
school-room by Daniel DeVinne. They entered the door 
shown on the right of the picture, and their room was close 
by on the left. The building still remains, and Mr. DeVinne 
remained with us until 1883, an esteemed minister of Christ. 
The recognized founders of this school were Robert Snow 
superintendent, and his assistants, Andrew Mercein, Joseph 
Herbert, and Daniel DeVinne. To these should be added 
Thomas Sands who first proposed the enterprise, John G. 
Murphy and Joseph G. Harrison whose signatures were ap- 
pended to the first printed statement or address to the peo- 
ple of the village concerning the Sunday-school, in March, 
1816. 4 

This address did not represent the school as professedly 
denominational, but requested parents and guardians to ex- 
press their wishes as to what catechism they would have 
their children study, and promised that they should be taken 
to such church services as their parents might choose; never- 
theless it is a fact that all the men prominently connected 
with this pioneer Sunday-school enterprise, including the 

See Stiles' Hist, of Brooklyn, vol. ii, p. 19. 

4 c. 























1— ' 










I- 1 - 




































H - 









Historical Recoi d. j o 

occupants of the building where the school was held, were 

members of Sands-street church. Rev. Mr. DeVinne writes: 

Ninety-seven names were received at the first meeting, although only half 
that number were present. The children were mostly of poor parents, and not 
more than one half of them knew their letters. There was a good deal of aris- 
tocratic spirit in those days, and few well-to-do people would allow their chil- 
dren to attend the same school with the poor ones. 5 

The founders of this school stated in their address that it 
was "under the management of four superintendents, a stand- 
ing committee of seven, and a number of [volunteer] teachers 
male and female;" that the design of the institution was to 
gather "poor children from the most destructive of all places 
to the morals of vouth — the street — on the Sabbath day," and 
to "combine religious and moral instruction with ordinary 
learning." The historian of Brooklyn says: 

In those early days, the gatherings of boys in and about the rope walks then 
so numerous in Brooklyn, and the card playing, profan.ty and other vices which 
they theij indulged in, hadlDecome a most serious nuisance to the better part of 
the community. 

Thus the quiet and comfort of the village, as well as the 
personal benefit the children might receive, incited the found- 
ers of the school to their noble work. These zealous and 
benevolent men, rising above sectarian motives, and hoping 
to induce many to co-operate with them, joined in a call pub- 
lished in The Star, March 27, 1816, for a public meeting, 
which "Christians of every denomination, all advocates of 
decency and order, and all friends of *** religion," were in- 
vited to attend for the purpose of organizing a village Sun- 
day-school Union, the object of the society to be the estab- 
lishment of a Union Sunday-school. The result was the or- 
ganization of the "Brooklyn Sunday School Union Society" 
on the 8th of April, 1816, and among those who signed the 
first code of rules were the following members of Sands-street 
church: A. Mercein, vice-president of S. S. Union, Thomas 
Sands, treasurer, John G. Pray, Robert Snow. The Sun- 
day-school in Kirk's building thereby became a union school, 
and was removed to the school-house of District No. 1, on 
the corner of Concord and Adams streets. James Engles, 

5 Semi-centennial Sermon. 

A RECORD OF TEN YEARS; 1817— 1826. 

he presiding elders during this period were Samuel 
Merwin, Nathan Bangs, Peter P Sandford, and 
Laban Clark; and the pastors were Joseph Craw- 
ford, William Ross, Alexander M'Caine, Henry Chase, (sup- 
ply), Lewis Pease, Mitchel B. Bull, (supply), Thomas Burch 
and Stephen L. Stillman. The Sunday-school, so hopefully be- 
gun, was destined to suffer a temporary defeat. A lack of teach- 
ers, and a strenuous opposition on the part of some of the 
church members who regarded teaching in the Sunday-school 
as a desecration of the Lord's day, resulted in the suspension 
of the school for a period of about three years. In the mean 
time, the Episcopalians organized a Sunday-school in Brook- 
lyn, and certain members of the Baptist Churches in New 
York proposed coming over to the village and organizing 
another. The Sunday-school veterans of Brooklyn could not 
stand idly by, and see people from abroad superceding them 
in this good work; and, in 182 1, the Union Sunday-school was 
resumed in the District school building, where it had former- 
ly been held. 

As the school increased in numbers, its original accommo- 
dations became too restricted, and the first Sunday-school 
building was erected in Prospect-street, near Adams. It was 
built by Robert Snow, James Engles, Joseph Moser and Rob- 
ert Nichols, "with beams and timbers from Mr. Snow's old 
potash store in New York," and made large enough to con- 
tain all the Sunday-school children in Brooklyn. The first 
of January was always signalized as Happy New Year, and 
the Sunday-school room was made a happy place by the dis- 
tribution of cakes and apples, and the dispensing of "shoes, 
stockings, flannel garments, etc., which had been solicited 
irom the wealthier citizens." Christmas was not at that time 

Historical Record. 2 1 

as now in this country, pre-eminently the children's holiday 
From this building after the Sunday-school session, the 
children were accustomed to repair to those places of wor- 
ship which their parents attended, or to return to their homes. 
In a few years, each of the churches beco.ning sufficiently 
established to maintain its own Sunday-school, the children 
of the other denominations gradually withdrew, leaving the 
Methodists to conduct the Sunday-school on Prospect-street, 
"where under the supervision of Messrs. Snow, Mercein, 
Herbert, Moser and others, it flourished exceedingly." 1 One 
of the most devoted and useful laborers in this school was 
Abraham Vanderveer, who, though a member of the Re- 
formed Dutch Church, was thoroughly and permanently 
identified with the Methodists in their Sunday-school work. 
The building on Prospect-street continued to be the rallying 
place for the Sunday-school until a Sunday-school building 
was erected near the parsonage on High-street in the rear of 
the church. 

The colored members, having become quite numerous, de- 
sired a separate place of worship, and, about 1817, being as- 
sisted by the members of the church generally, they succeed- 
ed in erecting a small meeting-house on High-street, between 
Bridge and Pearl. They were, however, under the pastoral 
care of the stationed preacher of Sands-street church. The 
church register, April 22, 1818, Joseph Crawford pastor, con- 
tains a record of the "African Asbury Methodist Episcopal 
Church," seventy-four members. The leaders were Thomas 
Bristol, Israel Jemison, Benjamin Croger, 2 Peter Croger, 
Samuel Anderson. 

In the year 1820,. while Alexander M'Caine was pastor, the 
colored members seceded in a body, only six remaining in 
the old church. At this date the reasons for their depart- 
ure may not be fully known. It has in a summary and gen- 
eral way been attributed to a spirit of insubordination to the 
Discipline. 3 The following are the only records of official 
action concerning them: 

1 Stiles' Hist, of Brooklyn, vol. ii, p. 29. 

2 Benjamin and Peter Croger afterward joined the N. "V. Conf., A. M. E. 
Church. The former died in 1853. 

3 N. Levings in Meth. Quar. Review, 1831 , p. 265. 

z 2 Old Sands Street Church. 

October 15, 1819. Motion made and carried that the colored people of 
the Methodist Church in Brooklyn be requested to pay ten dollars per quarter 
for services rendered by Brother M'Caine, in taking care of aforesaid Church. 

Feb. 17, 1820. It was suggested that from present appearances the colored 
people are about to separate from the charge. It was asked if it would not be 
advisable in such an event to set apart some seats in the house for the use of 
those who wish to remain among us. It was decided in the affirmative, 4 

Two years previous to their entire separation they num- 
bered seventy-four members. Since that time several other 
Methodist churches have been organized among the colored 
people of Brooklyn. Alexander M'Caine resigned his charge 
soon after this secession took place, and Henry Chase was 
appointed a supply for the remainder of the year. 

In 182 1, Lewis Pease having been appointed a second time 
to Brooklyn, this church was visited with a revival. It be- 
gan at a camp-meeting at Musketo Cove, 5 and another re- 
freshing was enjoyed by this same people and pastor imme- 
diately after the Musketo Cove camp-meeting in the following- 
year, — a meeting of great interest and power, and largely 
attended by the Brooklyn people. 6 The membership in- 
creased under Mr. Pease's ministry from 216 to 401. 

During the Conference year 1822, a little society was or- 
ganized at Yellow Hook. 7 This class, originally connected 
with the Brooklyn Methodists, afterward became the Bay 
Ridge M. E. Church. The following persons were the first 
members of this class: Daniel Field, leader; Adrian Bogart, 
Phcebe, his wife; Getty Bogart, Ellen Gold, Henry Still well, 
Anna Still well, Polly Bailey, Peter Bogart, Peggy Sping- 
steel and Anna Spingsteel. Soon were added Walter Van- 
Pelt, Winant Bogart, John DeGroff, Margaret Vanier, Eliz- 
abeth VanPelt, James VanPelt, Edward Williams, Eliza Fer- 
man and others. 8 

At the close of Mr. Pease's successful pastorate, William 
Ross, a former pastor and very much esteemed, was returned 
to the charge. Soon after his arrival, in 1823, a considerable 
number of members colonized and formed the York-street 
church, but this new society continued for twelve years un- 
der the same pastoral supervision as the mother church. 

4 Quar. Conf. Record. 5 Meth _ Magazine, 1822, p. 69. 

6 Meth. Magazine; 1823, p. 117, also Bangs' Hist, of the M. E. Church. 

7 Meth. Magazine, 1823, p. 118. * For biographical notices see Book III. 

Historical Record. 23 

Except in the sad case of Woolman Ilickson, the found- 
er of this church, the Sands-street people had never been 
called to lament the death of a pastor in the midst of his 
useful labors among them. Now they were to pass through 
that mournful experience. In his youthful prime, the elo- 
quent and popular William Ross was called from labor to 
reward, and when he was buried a large concourse of bro- 
ken-hearted people watered his grave with their tears. The 
long and solemn procession, composed of nearly all the peo- 
ple of the village, formed at the parsonage on High-street 
The bier, covered with a pall, was borne on the shoulders of 
four men; the choir, consisting of more than twenty chosen 
singers, led by Richard Cornwell, marched near the minis- 
ters at the head of the procession, and as .they passed from 
the parsonage around the corner into Fulton-street, they 
sang to the tune "China" in sweet yet mournful harmony, one 
of our solemn and appropriate hymns. 

The church records show that Mitchell B. Bull, as a sup- 
ply, filled Mr. Ross unexpired term. In the following year 
the "seraphic Summerfield," as the time of his departure 
drew near, expressed a desire to be buried by the side of his 
beloved friend, William Ross, in the old Sands-street church- 
yard, and for many years, till their subsequent removal, the 
mortal forms of those two holy men reposed together there. 

The conference of 1825 sent Thomas Burch to take charge 
of Brooklyn Methodism, and S. L. Stillman was appointed 
his colleague in 1826. That year a class was formed in Red 
Hook Lane, consisting of the following persons: Christopher 
Rutherford, leader; Joseph Baggott, John Baggott, Mary 
Goldsmith, Phoebe Langdon, Lucretia (or Lucinda) Moser, 
Samuel Shepherd, Leonora Baggott (1828). This class was 
sustained for a number of years, and was led by the follow- 
ing persons; 1826 C. Rutherford, 1828 Joseph Moser, 1830 
Isaac Moser, 1831 James Sweeney. In 1826 the eloquent Bas- 
com preached in this church. On that same Sabbath George 
Smith, one of the pillars of the church, passed peacefully 
away. 9 During this decade, notwithstanding the secession o 
the colored people, the membership increased from 271 to 436. 

9 So states Burdet Stryker, of Brooklyn. 



amuel Luckey followed Thomas Burch as preach- 
er in charge of the Brooklyn circuit. In 1827 S. L. 
Stillman was his colleague; in 1828 Seymour Lan- 
don. The statistics show a steady increase in the member- 
ship. The Sabbath-school was especially prosperous. It was 
mentioned by Laban Clark in the New York Advocate in 
January, 1828, as the best conducted Sunday-school he had 

While Samuel Luckey was preacher in charge, the Young 
Men's Missionary Society of Brooklyn, auxilliary to the pa- 
rent Missionary Society, was organized. The author has no 
knowledge of the length of time it continued to flourish. 
Young people of both sexes were among its supporters. The 
pastor's daughter, Miss Ann Eliza Luckey, is said to have 
suggested the formation of the society. One of the original 
members writes; ''She was so earnest that my five brothers, 
my sister and I all joined. Marsden Van Cott took an active 
part in organizing- the society." 1 The junior preacher, S. L. 
Stillman, was president, and the first anniversary was held 
March 19, 1828, in the York-street church. The chairman, 
after speaking of the insufficiency of worldly charity and 
benevolence, said: 

The gospel alone can strike at the root of human misery. When once the 
gospel panacea has diffused its healing virtues through the souls of men, the 
mighty cure is wrought, the fountain head of the muddy stream of moral pol- 
lution is dried up, and its turbid waters cease to flow. *** Hence, though it 
may be expedient to lend occasional aid to those minor institutions, it should 
never be forgotten that to assist the gospel in its operation is the only effectu- 

1 Letter to the author by the widow of the Rev. John Luckey. Ller father 
was the Rev. Christopher Rutherford, a local preacher in Sands-street church. 

Historical Recoi d. 25 

al way to restrain the course of vice, instruct the ignorant, lift up the humble 
poor, release the abject slave, and illuminate, and civilize, and evangelize, and 
save a ruined world. 2 

D. M. Reese, M .D. of New York also addressed the meeting. 

Daniel Ostrander succeeded Laban Clark as presiding ei- 
der in 1828. A notable revival in the Sands-street church 
followed the Hempstead Harbor camp-meeting in 1829, the 
first year of the pastoral term of Noah Levings and James 
Covel, Jr. It commenced among the sailors of the U. S. navy 
in Brooklvn. A band of Methodists including several exhort- 
ers held service on shipboard. They were doubtless burning 
with zeal on their return from the camp-meeting. Thirty- 
five of the sailors joined class, and a goodly number gave in 
their names to the lieutenant to have their "grog stopped." 
Many were baptized on board the war ship. 

During the following year J. N. Maffitt and D. Ostrander 
aided in extra meetings, and the altar was thronged with the 
penitents. It may cast a shade of reproof over the lax dis- 
cipline of our day to call attention to the fact that the church 
records of those times were often marked by the word ex- 
pelled. Here, likewise, is a suggestive record: 

Simon Richardson, John Smith and Adam Seabury were appointed a stand- 
ing committee for one month to try delinquents, Dec, 1830. 

A change of pastors brought John C. Green and C. W. 
Carpenter to this charge in 1831, and they were re-inforced 
by J. C. Tackaberry in 1832, after the formation of a new col- 
ony from the mother church. The Washington-street church 
and parsonage were erected in 1 83 1 , at a cost of about $24,000. 3 
For about four years Sands-street and Washington-street 
churches constituted one charge, being undivided in their 
financial interests," and under the same pastoral supervision. 

Thomas Burch was appointed a second time to this charge 
in 1833 and l8 34- His colleagues on the circuit were John 
Kennaday and John Luckey. There were four churches un- 
der their watch-care, including New Utrecht, and the mem- 
bership numbered more than a thousand. 

The New York Conference for the first time held its ses- 
sion in Sands-street church in 1835. This year it was deemed 

2 Christian Advocate and Journal, 1828. 

3 J. W. Harper in Trustees' Record, 1843. They were finished in 1832. 

26 Old Sands Street Church. 

expedient to make a division of the church property. Pas- 
tors were appointed to the three churches severally, separate 
boards of trustees were elected, each church assuming a 
portion of the debt, 4 and obtaining sole possession of the 
property which it occupied. Of the burial grounds on Con- 
cord-street and at Wallabout, each church held an undivided 
third. 6 For about three years, however, the several boards 
of trustees met in joint session. A committee was appointed 
by the joint board of trustees in 1836, consisting of one from 
each church, to ascertain if ground suitable for a meeting- 
house could be obtained in the neighborhood of the resi- 
dences of Christopher Hempstead and Mrs. Mary Powers, 
[not far from Hanson Place,] and upon what terms and con- 
ditions, and to report. The committee did nothing; but "a 
plot of ground, with building stones and a part of the neces- 
sary fixtures for a house of worship, was offered as a dona- 
tion by James E. Underhill through Mr. Ingles. This offer 
was declined by the board on account of the situation being 
too far from the settled part of the city, and because Mr. Under- 
hill required that the church should have a steeple." ° 

Bartholomew Creagh the first to have pastoral charge 
in Sands-street after the division, and his allowance was $600 
a year. In 1837 W II. Norris succeeded Mr. Creagh. Dur- 
ing his two years term the membership increased from 402 
to 667. Fitch Reed was his successor for one year. The 
annual conference of 1839 was held in the Sands-street 
church. In 1S40 Lonj Island was set off as a presiding elder's 
district, in charge of Stephen Martindale. P C. Oakley 
was appointed pastor of this church, and under his adminis- 
tration in 1841, the first regular board of stewards was 
elected. 7 

In 1843, L. M. Vincent pastor, the membership was large- 
ly increased by a revival. It was at this time decided to de- 
molish the church building, and erect in its place a new and 
larger structure, tho '-old white church" beino; insufficient to 

4 The entire indebtedness after Washington-street church was built, was 
$18,500. Sands-street became responsible for $5,500, York-street for $3,000 
and Washington-street for $10,000. 

6 Trustees Record, Washington-street church. 6 Trustees Record, 1836. 

7 Joseph Wecley Harper's statement in Trustees' Record Book, 1843. 

Historical Record. 2 7 

accommodate the crowds attending upon Mr. Vincent's min- 
istry. With intense emotion did the congregation, especially 
the older people, assemble for the last time in the doomed 
building, and listen to "the tearing down sermon" by the 
pastor. The senior members regarded the dear old church 
with an almost superstitious veneration. It had stood well- 
nigh forty years. From its high pulpit they had heard scorer, 
of honored ministers proclaim the word of life. Asbury and 
Dow and Summerfield and Bascom, and many pastors of the 
church, scarcely less eloquent or renowned, had preached 
there; and at its altars thev had worshipped with the Garri- 
sons, Harpers, Kirks, Mosers and Merceins. The demoli- 
tion of the church was effected notwithstanding this pro- 
found regret, and on the 15th of January, 1844, a new brick 
church was dedicated. The preachers on that occasion wc e 
Chas. Pitman and Nathan Bangs. On the fallowing Sabba.h 
Noah Levings and David M. Reese occupied the pulpit, and a 
subscription was taken, amounting to $1,400. 8 The buildirg 
was of Grecian architecture, eighty feet in length, and. sixty 
feet in width. While the builders were at work on this edi- 
fice, the congregation worshipped in a hall on the corner of 
Fulton and Nassau streets. At the expiration of Mr. Vin- 
cent's first year in May, 1843, a resolution was adopted! by 
the quarterly conference — nine against eight — condemning 
the practice of petitioning for particular preachers. In 1844 
Tohn J. Matthias was appointed to the district, and Hart F 
Pease to the station. Nathan Bangs was stationed here in 
1846 with John C. Tackaberry. A parsonage was built that 
vear. The entire outlay for buildings amounted by this time 
to $18,000, of which the church owed $10,000. 

The Sundav-school was conducted during these vears with 
marked thoroughness and efficiency. On the following page 
is an exact copy of the certificate of membership presented 
to each scholar, the names and dates being inserted with a pen. 
Many of these certificates have been preserved. 

In 1843 Moses F Odell and Miss Esther Hollis, (now the 
widow of the Rev. William M'Allister,) organized the in- 
fant class with ten scholars. 

6 Christian Advocate. 


Old Sands Street Church. 


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A RECORD OF TEN YEARS; 1847-1856. 

OHN B. Merwin was pastor here with Nathan Bangs 
in 1847. On Saturday night, September 9, 1848^. 

____ while Wm. H. Norris was preacher in charge, a 

ire swept over a considerable portion of Brooklyn, and the 
new church and parsonage were burned — insurance only 
about $1,200. Fortunately the walls of the church were 
found to be perfectly safe for rebuilding, and without waste 
of time this enterprising people, encouraged by their zealous 
pastor, proceeded to repair their loss. While doing this, they 
erected a building in the rear of the church, fronting on High- 

~o Old Sands Street Church. 


street, containing Sunday-school rooms and a lecture room, 
and connected with the main building by a department for 
class rooms, eighteen by sixty feet, and two stories high. 
The building committee consisted of David Coope, Warren 
Richmond, Nathaniel Bonnell, Jacob Brown, and John J. 
Studwell. This church was dedicated March 25, 1849, a dis- 
course being delivered by Dr. Stephen Olin. The Rev. T. W 
Chadwick says that Dr. Olin's glorious sermon gave him a 
grand conception of the dignity of being a Christian. 

The Sunday-school continued its career of prosperity 
After the removal of its veteran founders, Robert Snow and 
Toseph Herbert, the leadership fell into the hands of men 
equally well qualified to superintend its affairs. 

The following quotation from the minutes of a teachers' 
meeting of the Sands-street Sunday-school, held May 3, 1847, 
is a brief account of the origin of a remarkablv successful 
Sunday-school missionary society: 

On motion it was 

Resolved, That a Juvenile Missionary Society be formed in this school; and 
that the officers of such society consist of a president, a vice-president, a secre- 
tary and a treasurer. 

The meeting, on motion, proceeded to the election of said officers. Charles 
H. Fellows was elected president, Joshua I. Gascoigne, vice-president; Gilbert 
H. Read, secretary; Egbert Acker, treasurer. On motion it was 

Resolved, That each teacher select a scholar in his or her class, whose duty 
it shall be to collect funds in such class, and pay them to the treasurer. 

An infant-.class missionary society had previously been 
organized, and, as already narrated, a young men's missiona- 
ry society was in operation some twenty years antecedent to 
this date; but this was the beginning of the only permanent 
missionary organization connected with this church. The 
aggregate amount of money raised and paid into the general 
missionary treasury by this society is more than $50,000. It 
has also appropriated considerable sums to local missionary 
effort. A constitution was adopted July 19, 1847. Wm. 
Cartwright was made second vice-president; and the follow- 
ing persons were chosen the first board of managers: Ira 
Perego, Jr., James Cheetham, Horace N. Harrison, Benj. 
Haff, James Bogart, Wm. Marvin, Elisabeth E. Haff, Belinda 
Vanderveer, Josephine Curtis, Jane Vining, Mary Wads- 
worth, Harriet Oakley. A little later it was ordered that 

Historical Record. 3 1 

the last Sabbath in each month be set apart for missionary 
purposes. The first Sunday-school missionary festival was 
held in the Sunday-school room, December 25, 1849. The 
secretary made the following minute: 

Brothers Kirk, Murphy, North and others addressed the meeting. Fifty- 
dollars was collected. Thomas Kirk, Charles C. North, J. N. Judson, YVm. 

A. Walker and Camp of Eighteenth-street, New York, were made life 

members of the Juvenile Missionary Society. The school then had a treat of 
good things, and the remainder was taken to the poor school at V — . 

One of the "others" among the speakers to whom the secre- 
tary refers, was J. Wesley Harper. This was to him a 
double celebration, for he was born on Christmas day So 
deeply moved was he that he asked Sup't Odell to allow him 
to say a word. It was an unheard-of thing for him to address 
the children, and they listened with profound attention. 

On Christmas dav, 1854, certain features then quite novel, 
were introduced into the missionary celebration. It was a 
new departure, of which the following account is given: 

The school was organized into fifty different societies, each having its own 
name and motto, and they collected about $ 680. The exercises in the church 
consisted of singing and addresses, and receiving the collections from the differ- 
ent societies [or classes]. After the school returned to the school-room, Super- 
intendent Odell gave the classes baskets and boxes of good things. Ole Bull 
was present, and dedicated a new violin to the school, in return for which he 
was made a life member of the Juvenile Missionary Society. 

It can hardly fail to awaken pleasant recollections in the 
minds of many who were present on those occasions, to find 
here recorded the names of some of the classes. A few will 
serve as specimens: ''Old Sands-street, the Homestead;" 
"Lenders to the Lord;" "Father Snow Society;" "Stockhold- 
ers in the never-failing Bank;" "Mrs. AnnWilkins Society;" 
"Missionary Life and Trust Company." The mottoes, in 
most cases, were beautiful and appropriate passages of 

Events of ordinary interest which occurred during this 
comparatively recent period, need not be recorded here. 
The church nourished as in former years. The names of the 
eminent and worthy pastors during this decade, — Bangs, 
Merwin, Norris, Wood, Fox, Weed and Miley,— are in 
themselves unquestioned evidence that the spiritual inter- 
ests of the church were ably and faithfully administered. 


he published statistics of Methodism previous to 
1857, consisted solely of the number of names 
on the class books. Since that date more com- 
plete tabulated statistical reports have been printed; and 
from these has been compiled a summary of statistics 
of old Sands-street Church for the last quarter of a century. 
The number of deaths reported, 1857 to 1883, inclusive, is 
124; (The church records, incomplete as they are, contain the 
names of more than two hundred persons who have fallen 
asleep in Jesus, while in fellowship with this church, since 
1798.) Baptized since 1856 — adults, 119, children, 247. Be- 
sides making liberal provision for the support of pastors, 
presiding elders, bishops and worn-out conference preach- 
ers — for repairs, supplies and other miscellaneous objects, 
this church has contributed since the statistics have been 
published, the following amounts, in round numbers: — to 
the Tract Society, $700; to the Sunday School Union, $700; 
to the American Bible Society, $3,000; to the Board of Edu- 
cation, $350; to the Freedmen's Aid Society, $400; to the 
Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, $700; to the Board of 
Church Extension, $900; to the parent Missionary Society, 
053> oo °; to various other missionary institutions, about 
$7,000; the whole being an average annual contribution ol 
$ 2,500 for the last twenty-seven years. The collection for 
Church Extension reported in 1882, was the largest for that 
cause ever made by this church;— Chaplain M'Cabe had been 
there. The pastor, J. S. Breckinridge, conducted the services 
on Children's Day, 1882, and the amount then contributed 
for the cause of education surpassed all previous collections 
for that object. The names of the pastors during this latest 
period are as follows:— John Miley, John B. Hagany, B. II. 
Nadal, L. S. Weed, Charles Fletcher, E. G. Andrews, A. II. 

Historical Record. 33 

Wyatt, G. De La Matyr, G. F Kettell, F. P. Tower, George 
Taylor, Lindsay Parker, J. S. Breckinridge, L. R. Streeter; 
presiding elders, Buel Goodsell, Wm. H. N orris, John Ken- 
naday, Daniel Curry, Benjamin Pillsbury, E. E. Griswold, 
T. G. Osborn, Charles Fletcher, A. S. Graves, G. F Kettell, 
I. Simmons. 

No portion of the history of this church is more remarka- 
ble, all things considered, than the record of the last few- 
years. While some, if not most of the churches in "Old 
Brooklyn" struggled for existence, the old mother church 
maintained much of the vigor and the uniform prosperity of 
earlier days. Of necessity or of choice, from time to time 
many of the Sands-street people transferred their member- 
ship to other churches, but not a few resolved to stay and 
"hold the fort." Undismayed by the prospect of a speedy 
removal, they strove to improve the latest opportunities, 
and make the last days of Sands-street Methodism worthy 
of the past. 

The class leaders and the Sunday-school workers emu- 
lated the zeal and enterprise of the fathers. The anniver. 
saries were never more interesting. The Rev. Dr. Weed was 
present at the Christmas missionary festival, 1881. Having 
written a beautiful description of the decoration, and the ar- 
rangement of the children, he adds: 

The Revs. D. Terry, A. S. Graves, J. E. Cookman, G. P. Mains, Lindsay 
Parker, and many of the well-known laymen of Brooklyn were in the congre- 
gation and on the platform. For nearly thirty consecutive years the Rev. Da- 
vid Terry, of the parent Missionary Society has been present at this Christmas 
festival, and opened the exercises with prayer. It was a great joy to many of 
his old friends to greet him once more. Pie was called upon to offer the 
opening prayer by Mr. S.' S. Utter, the teacher of the infant class, who, assist- 
ing the superintendent of the school, Mr. Wm. I. Preston, presided with ad- 
mirable tact over the services of the morning. 

The call of the classes was intensified in interest by the splendid chorus 
singing by the entire school of the verse motto of the class called. 

The motto of the young gents of the infant class is "The Young Guard;" 
that of the little misses, "Spring Flowers." A little fellow of four or five 
years, dressed in uniform, represented the boys; and a little girl of about the 
same age, was a symbol of spring flowers. They brought in from the class 
two hundred dollars. 

To pastors and superintendents generally it may, we think, be a matter of 
very serious thought whether this way may not be the "better way." The 

-4 Old Sands Street Church. 

whole effort and enthusiasm of the congregation ( Church and Sunday-school 
are concentrated upon this one day of the year for collecting and reporting 
missionary money. All are interested, and all are represented by their 

gif ts parents, children, grandchildren, all are there. Even little babes 

are brought up in their fathers' or mothers' arms, with gifts in their little 
hands for the mission cause. * * * Without any large gifts from wealth, in a 
congregation and in the midst of a population representing what has come to 
be called the great middle class of society, Sands-street Church, through its 
Sunday-school, has for many years collected on this festival day for the mis- 
sionary work what ifcollected on the day just passed, Dec. 26, 1881, namely, 
$2,000, x 

Brothers Weed and Terry supposed this to be the last 
Christmas missionary festival in Sands-street; it was, in- 
deed, their last; ere many months had gone, they were both 
translated to the Church above. 

The Christian Advocate published the following addition- 
al notice of the work of the society during that vear: 

The thirty-fifth anniversary of the Sunday-school Missionary Society of 
Sands-street Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. J. S. Breckinridge, pastor, 
was held April 6. The annual report, presented by D. B. Phillips, the secre- 
tary, showed that $2,200 had been collected during the year, $100 of which 
was appropriated to the Howard Mission in New York, $150 to the Five Points 
Mission, in the same city, and $1,800 to the Parent Society of the Methodic 
Episcopal Church. A very interesting address was given on the occasion b", 
the Rev. Gideon Draper, D. D., on mission work in Sweden, and the pastor 
stated that the first conference held in Sweden was presided over by Bishop 
Andrews, a former pastor of Sands-street. 

The most memorable of all the annual missionary festi- 
vals was held Dec. 25, 1882. A large and beautiful paintiii^ 
of the "Old White Church" had been made from memory 
and was suspended on the wall in the rear of the pulpit, xm. 
star of blazing gas jets was seen above the painting, and o** 
either side were appropriate emblems. 

A profusion of North Carolina hanging moss and floial 
baskets adorned the front of the galleries, and near the c- 
gan a cluster of Sunday-school banners was displayed. 
Portraits of Robert Snow and Joseph Herbert were sus- 
pended in front of the gallery facing the pulpit, and be- 
tween them hung the beautiful banners of the infant class. 
On elevated benches, behind the pulpit, reaching to the gai 

1 Christ" an Advocate, Jan. 12, 1882. 

Historical Record. -. - 


leries, the children of the infant class were seated,— a lovelv 
sight to behold. The Sunday-school occupied the front 
seats in the body of the church. The house was crowded to 
its utmost capacity, for the general belief that this would be 
their last opportunity to attend such a meeting in the old 
Sabbath home, had drawn thither a host of the former mem- 
bers and friends of the school. A. B. Thorn officiated as 
leader of the singing, in which teachers and scholars joined. 
Even David himself would have been satisfied with the 
number and variety of musical instruments accompany- 
ing their voices— organ, cornet, piano, piccolo and bells. 
Among the distinguished visitors were Henry Ward Beecher 
and his assistant, Mr. Halliday; ex-mayor Howell, ex-mayor 
Booth, ex-mayor Hunter, Edward Rowe and ex-alderman 
Whiting. Sam S. Utter presided. At 10:30 A. M. the exer- 
cises were opened with an appropriate song: 
Ring out, O bells! right merrily, 
For Christmas time is here! 

In place of the assistant secretary at the mission rooms, 
David Terry — absent for the first time in thirty years — John 
Parker, one of the Brooklyn pastors, offered prayer. The 
missionary offerings were then made in the usual manner. 
Some one had brought the old fire bueket which formerly 
belonged to "Poppy" Snow, and laid it on the platform. Ph 
this were deposited the offerings of the infant class, amount- 
ing to $250. 

Mr. Beecher on being introduced, was greeted with 
applause. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle gave the following 
report of his address: 

He said, as he remembered them the New England Congregationalisms used 
to be big bugs. The Methodists had a hard time to get a hold in New Eng- 
land. They were not grand. When he went to Indiana, he found that things 
were reversed. There, said Mr. Beecher, the Methodists were on the top, and 
we were nowhere. The public sentiment of that State was in the hands of the 
Methodists. On the whole they were a nice sort of folks, and I came to have 
a warm heart for them. They had the good sense to go out among the com- 
mon people, and they had a habit of exhibiting their feelings. I was a Presby- 
terian then, and I think very well of the Presbyterians. Their wells are deep, 
however, and they never run over. The water is good, but we have to 
pump for it. The Methodists are like springs — they need no pumping; 


6 Old Sands Street Church. 

their wells flow over. When I came to Brooklyn, it was my good fortune to 
fall into the society of the members of this very church, among whom was Broth- 
er Odell, whose school at that time was considered the best in Brooklyn. I af- 
terward gave some members to you, and that bound me to you; and some came 
to my prayer-meeting from this church. Brother Loper, who thought a man 
couldn't go to Heaven who wore a mustache or a goatee, used to come round; 
therefore it seems to me for various reasons, you could have gone farther and 
fared worse than having me speak to you. [Applause.] The warm-heartedness 
and fiery spirit of this church were always noticeable, and I would like to see 
some of this spirit to-day. You are going to leave this place that is consecrated. 
It is your purpose, I believe, to join forces and erect a great memorial 
church some where on the heights. I am sorry for it, and would recall to your 
minds in this connection the fable of the snail and the lobster shell. Beware of 
the devil of respectability; and don't be afraid to be common. My fear is that 
you will attempt to make a big, magnificent, popular church; my prayer is that 
God may defeat you. When you go, if you have any spare members, send 
them over to me, and I will take care of them. [Loud applause.] 

One of the children stepped forward at the close of this 
address, and presented to Mr. Beecher a beautiful candy bas- 
ket. Then followed an interesting scene; a score or more 
of the very youngest of the visitors, — some of them grand- 
children and great-grandchildren of the early members of 
the school — came forward to "Grandpa" Utter with their of- 
ferings. From this source $441 was realized; and in a few 
minutes $250 more was subscribed, making the entire contri- 
bution $2,000. After singing and brief addresses, the festival 
was pleasantly and appropriately closed with the distribu- 
tion of Christmas gifts to the children. 

The pastor, J. S. Breckinridge said in his farewell sermon, 
in April, 1883: 

Since I have been pastor, the church has contributed three thousand dollars 
annually to missionary purposes. The church is vigorously alive, and it has a 
grand future before it. It is stronger to-day than when I came, the membership 
having increased twenty per cent. The bridge is approaching completion, and 
soon the church will be removed. If you remain this side of Fulton-street, you 
will do well; if you go on the heights, you will do better. That part of the 
city needs a Methodist church. With no debt, a good leader, and one hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars in your treasury, you can storm and capture Brooklyn 
as Gen. Wolfe did the Heights of Abraham, at Quebec. 

Sam. S. Utter presided at the Christmas exercises in 1883. 
The decorations were attractive and the attendance large, 
many of the old-time Sands-street people rallying as usual. 

Historical Record. 37 

In the center of the large platform, improvised for the occasion, stood a very 
tall Christmas tree, laden with the gifts of Santa Claus, and perched upon it 
were two white turtle doves indicating the peace which Christmas tide betokens. 
Beneath was represented the manger in which Christ was born, to which was 
added the shepherd scene, and the Star of the East pending overhead — the 
whole furnishing a very impressive picture. * * * Mr. Utter said that some of 
the children present represented the sixth generation of worshippers at this 
church. The sum collected was about $2,200. The Rev. L. R. Streeter, the 
pastor, then made a short address, depicting vividly the birth of Christ and the 
circumstances surrounding it, the work he had accomplished, and the lesson to 
be derived from it. The exercises closed with the distribution of Christmas 
gifts. 2 

The Christmas of 1884 was duly celebrated, and the total 
missionary offerings amounted to nearly $1,600. The Rev. 
Dr. J. M. Reid, missionary secretary, made the principal ad- 
dress. 3 

It became evident as early as 1870 that the days of old 
Sands-street church were numbered. The prosperous growth 
of, Brooklyn, to which the churches have in a large degree 
contributed, compels some of them to recede from their orig- 
inal location. The East River bridge with its increasing tide 
of traffic and travel must render this ancient stronghold of 
Methodism untenable for religious services. The site has 
been and will be desired for secular purposes. The bridge 
company made a liberal offer, ($125,000,) for the church prop- 
erty, but the trustees declined to sell at that price. 

The outlook is uncertain. At this hour none can predict 
in what form, if at all, the church organization will survive. 
A proposition strongly urged, particularly in 1882, by many 
leading ministers and laymen, to unite Sands-street and Pa- 
cific-street churches in the formation of a new organization 
on the "Heights," did not commend itself to some of the 
more influential members of Sands-street church. Attempts 
to consolidate other Methodist Churches in "Old" Brooklvn 

• "Brooklyn Eagle," December 26, 1883. 

3 In the time of pastor Vincent, John M. Reid, then a young man, often 
preached in the Sands-street church. He says: "I went over there one night 
and preached, and most marvelous manifestations appeared. We invited seek- 
ers forward and the altar was filled. We cleared a row of seats and they were 
filled; another, and they were filled, and at last we concluded that the whole 
house was an altar of seeking. Thereupon followed a great revival, during 
which I labored as often as my strength would permit. I was at that time prin- 
cipal of the Mechanics' Institute School in New York city and a local preacher." 

-8 Old Sands Street Church. 


met with similar defeat. Dr. Buckley wrote in The Christian 


All the efforts at consolidation in connection with the five churches — the 
York-street, the Sands-street, the Washington-street, the Johnson-street, and 
the Pacific-street — have failed. Yet it is obvious to all that they do not com- 
prise materials for more than two strong charches. Many Methodists have 
been discouraged by the state of things and have joined other congregations. 
It is certain that decay and death await some of these churches, and the valua- 
ble properties which they have in trust will be eaten up in a few years. The 
history of the debates already had shows that no difficulties except those which 
arise from a want of broad views, and which have no higher source than preju- 
dice, are in the way. It now looks as though, through mismanagement or 
want of management, Methodism in those parts of Brooklyn will continue to 
diminish, and that much of the property will be consumed. 

There are some who seem to cling w T ith fondness to those 
sacred memories and associations w T hich could not be trans- 
ferred to any other place of worship, but it should be borne 
in mind that a removal of the church will not of necessity 
involve the abandonment of the name and memory of Sands- 
street Methodism. One writer makes this suggestion: 

Imitating other churches on the "Heights," this new Methodist church might 
establish and maintain a mission Sunday-school not far from the present site of 
Sands-street church, and thus continue its noble work among the children, un- 
der changed, though perhaps more favorable conditions. The Mayflower mis_ 
sion, sustained by the Plymouth church, and other missions, cared for by the 
Henry-street Presbyterian, and St. Ann's Episcopal, and Pierrepont-street Bap- 
tist, and other churches on the Heights, are successful. There is no reason 
why the Brooklyn Heights Methodist Episcopal church might not work as suc- 
cessfully a Sands-street mission, and thus worthily perpetuate the name and 
memory of the mother church of Brooklyn Methodism. 4 

Right alongside the multitudes as they surge up and down 
the great thoroughfare are the pious dead who were laid to 
rest beneath the shadow of the "old white church." The wid- 
ening stream of traffic and travel will soon disturb their re- 
pose. The old church-yard which holds the sacred dust of 
James Harper, Andrew Mercein, Thomas Carpenter, John 
Garrison, Robert Snow, and other equally devoted men, with 
their godly wives, must soon totally disappear. It is hoped 
that the friends of old Sands-street church will see that all 
possible pains are taken to identify the graves of these Meth- 
odist worthies, and to re-bury their bones with tender care. 

4 B.. in The Christian Advocate. 

Historical Record. 39 

The simplicity and the strength of Methodism have in 
many respects been exemplified in the history of this church. 
Without tower or bell, without pompous ritual or gorgeous 
architecture; without sensational devices of any description, 
this old church has kept time to the march of Methodism. 
There has been no rebellion against the appointed pastor, 
no disparagement of the class meetings, no departure from 
the old methods, no abandonment of the old principles. 

This church has maintained a prosperous career throughout 
(me of the brightest of the sixty centuries of the world's his- 
tory, but in the brightening glory of the coming years, she 
will continue to live in the ever widening results of her 
faithful service, and the increasing usefulness of her children 
— the many prosperous churches in Brooklyn, which are 
properly classed among the descendents of the old mother 

To the praise of our itinerant svstem, it should be made 
known that during almost a century this church, in the days 
of her feebleness and the days of her strength, was never de- 
prived of regular pastoral oversight and the stated ministra- 
tions of the Gospel. More than eighty ministers have held 
the relation of pastor to the Sands-street Church, three fourths 
of whom have gone to their reward on high, and hundreds 
of others have occasionally proclaimed the Gospel of salva- 
tion in this sacred place. Could a record be made of the 
sermons preached on Sabbath days and during revival ser- 
vices upon this watch-tower of Methodism, the number 
would scarcely fall below ten thousand. And these efforts 
have not been in vain. The word has not returned void. 
When the Lord writeth up his people it shall be said, This 
and that man was born there. 

Besides the hundreds who have died while in fellowship 
with this people, other hundreds have transferred then- 
membership to churches near or distant, and thence to the 
church triumphant. Multitudes of grateful Christians in 
this world and in the world above, remember the Sands- 
street altars as Jacob remembered Bethel and Peniel. They 
can never dissociate from the memory of their best experi- 
ence upon earth, the old Sabbath home where they enjoyed the 


Old Sands Street Church. 


communion of saints — the foretastes of a blessed heavenly- 

It is pleasing and instructive to review so much as can be 
recorded of the history of a church organization for a hun- 
dred years ; but the most vital and interesting portion of the 
history of any church must forever remain unwritten. No 
pen can record the unknown personal experience, the secret 
heart-struggles, and the unobserved deeds of charity and faith 
which constitute the real life-work of the followers of Christ. 
For a history of our life and its vast results, we await the day 
when the books shall be opened. Who will say that we may 
not yet find in Heaven's library, some bright volume, entitled 
" The True History of the Redeemed Company that came up 
from the Sands Street Church ? " 



Years, i 





I. A Chronological List of Presiding Elders. 

Thomas Foster 

Henry Willis 


F. Garrettson and Thomas Morrell . 

Thomas Morrell, 8 

Robert Cloud 

Jacob Brush 

Freeborn Garrettson 

George Roberts 

Freeborn Garrettson 

S. Hutchinson and F. Garrettson . 

1798-1799 Sylvester Hutchinson 

1 804-1 806 
1819 . . 
1 840-1 843 

Freeborn Garrettson New York. 

William Thacher " " 

Joseph- Crawford " " 

F. Garrettson 

Samuel Merwin " " 

Nathan Bangs " 

Peter P. Sandford 

Laban Clark 

Daniel Ostrander '' " 

Samuel Merwin 

Daniel Ostrander " 

Stephen Martindale Long Island. 

John J. Matthias 

Laban Clark 

Seymour Landon 

Buel Goodsell 

William H. Norris 

1 Formerly these began sometimes as late as October, but recently in May or 

2 At first the Districts were large, and no names were given to them until 
the year 1800. 

8 Aaron Hunt's statement that Jacob Brush was presiding elder of the New 
York District that year is probably a mistake. See memorials of Jacob Brush 
and Aaron Hunt in Book II. 

1 •> 

Old Sands Street Church. 

Conference PRESIDING ELDERS. Districts. 


1863 . . John Kennaday, 4 W. II. Norris . Long Island. 

1 864-1867 Dan'l Curry, 5 Benj. Pilsbury. . . . L. I. South. 

1868-187 1 Edwin E. Griswold " " 

1872-T875 Thomas G. Osborn," Chas. Fletcher " " 

1876-1879 Albert S. Graves Brooklyn. 

1 880-1 882 George F. Kettell 

1883 . . Ichabod Simmons 

J\\ ii. 


II. A Chronological List of Pastors, with the Numbers reported, 
including Probationers, at the Close of their Respective Terms. 

Conference PASTORS. No. of 

Years. Members. 

and Prob. 

1787 . . Woolman Hickson, John Dickins, 

Freeborn Garrettson Unknown. 

1788 . . Henry Willis, (elder,) J. Dickins . . 

1789 . . Robert Cloud, John Merrick, 

"William Phcebus " 

1790 . . David Kendall, Wm. Phcebus, 

Aaron Hunt, J. Brush 

1 791 . . Wm. Phcebus, Benj. Abbott "... 

1792 . . John Ragan, James Boyd .... 

1793 . . Joseph Totten, George Strcbcck . 

1794 . . Ezekicl Cooper, Lawrence M'Combs; 

also, Wm. Phcebus, David Kendall, 

supernumerary preachers 8 .... 35 

1 795 . . Joseph Totten 39 

1796-1797 William Phcebus 10 81 

1798 . . Andrew Nichols 73 

1799 . . Cyrus Stebbins 54 

4 Died Nov. 14, 1O63. 

5 Elected Editor of the Christian Advocate, in May, 1864. 

' 6 Resigned after a few months on account of ill health. 

1 Included in the membership of New York station. 1787-1789, and cf L. I. 
circuit, 1790-1793. 

8 All appointed to New York and Brooklyn circuit. M'Combs was to cha::;:e 
every three months with Sylvester Hutchinson of New Rochellc cir., and Rob- 
ert Hutchinson of Long Island circuit. 

9 First stationed preacher. Appointed for six months. It is presumed he 
remained a full year. 

10 Practically a stationed preacher; for although Brooklyn was connected 
these two years and for some time afterward, by a system of exchanges, with 
L. I. cir., and so represented in the printed lists of appointments, Brooklyn 
was really a separate station, as shown by the financial record of the L. I. 
Quarterly Conterence Minutes. 

Historical Record. 4-7 

Conference PASTORS. No. of 

Years. Members 

and Prob. 

i 800-1 801 David Buck 71 

1802 . . Peter Jayne 71 

1803 . . Ezekiel Canfield 73 

1804 . . Cyrus Stebbins, Ezekiel Cooper 11 . . 74 

1805 . . Ezekiel Cooper, Samuel Merwin 12 . 136 

1806 . . Ezekiel Cooper, Samuel Thomas, 

Oliver Sykes 225 

1807 . . Elijah Woolsey, John Wilson . . . 253 

180& . . Daniel Ostrander 245 

1809 . . Reuben Hubbard, T. Drummond 13 . 255 

1810-1011 William ^Thacher 14 210 

1812-1813 Lewis Pease, T. Drummond 15 . . . 239 

1814 . . Samuel Merwin 198 

1 815 . . Nathan Emery 231 

1816-1817 Joseph Crawford 271 

1818 . . William Ross 320 

1819-1820 Alex. M'Caine, Henry Chase 16 . . . 216 

1821-1822 Lewis Pease 401 

1823-1824 W. Ross, M. B. Bull, 17 (twoch's.) . . 414 

1825 . . Thomas Burch, (two churches.). . . 424 

1826 . . T. Burch, S. L. Stillman, (two ch's) . 436 

1827 . . S. Luckey, S. L Stillman, (two ch's) . 454 

1828 . . S. Luckey, S. Landon, (two ch's) . . 508 
1829-1830 N. Levings, J. Coveljr., (two ch's) . 663 
18 3 1 . . John C. Green, C. W. Carpenter, . . 

(three churches.) 986 

1832 . . J. C. Green, C. W. Carpenter, 

J. C .Tackaberry, (three churches.) . 97 1 
1 833-1834 T. Burch, J. Kennaday, J. Luckey, 

(four ch's, including New Utrecht.) 1037 

11 Stebbins left the station, and the old church book states that Ezekiel Coop- 
er was pastor half the year. 

12 Mr. Merwin was pasto* during the last quarter. 

13 Records.-Hubbard went to the Episcopalians. Drummond was appointed 
to supply the place. 

14 He was to exchange every month with Francis Ward. They exchanged 
only once. 

15 Mr. Pease's health failed in June, 1813, and Mr. Drummond was in charge 
the last part of the year. 

16 Mr. M'Caine left the charge in February, 1821, and Mr. Chase was pas- 
tor till Conference. A large number of the colored members seceded. 

17 Mr. Ross died during the second year of his term, and the church records 
indicate that Mr. Bull was in change after his death. 


44 Old Sands Street Church. 

Conference PASTORS. ™ No : of 

Years. M , ei S be r s 

and Prob. 

1835-1836 B. Creagh, (Sands-st. Church only) . 402 

1837-1838 Wm. H. Norris 667 

1839 . . Fitch Reed 606 

1 840-1 84 1 Peter C. Oakley 5 21 

1842-1843 Leonard M. Vincent 677 

1 844-1 845 Hart F. Pease 604 

1846. . . N. Bangs, J. C. Tackaberry .... 612 

1847 ' . . N. Bangs, J. B. Merwin 564 

1848-1849 Wm. H. Norris 557 

1850-185 1 John W. B. Wood 500 

1852-1853 Henry J. Fox, M. B. Bull, sup'y, 1853 601 

1854-1855 Levi S. Weed, M. B, Bull, sup'y . . 470 

1856-1857 John Miley, B. Bull, sup'y .... 601 

1858 . . W. F. Watkins (supply,) 18 J. B. Hagany 539 

1859 . . John B. Hagany 587 

1860-1861 Bernard H. Nadal 19 606 

1862-1863 Levi S. Weed 605 

1 864-1866 Charles Fletcher 600 

1867 . . Edward G. Andrews 599 

1868 . . A. H. Wyatt, (supply), 20 G. DeLaMatyr 590 

1869 . . Gilbert DeLaMatyr 595 

1870-1871 George F. Kettell 514 

1872-1873 Freeman P. Tower 21 476 

1874-1876 George Taylor 476 

1877-1879 Lindsay Parker 539 

1 880-1 882 John S. Breckinridge 555 

1883-1884 Lewis R. Streeter 

18 Mr. Watkins was in charge during the few weeks intervening between the 
sessions of the New York East and Mew York Conferences. 

19 Dr. George R. Crooks stands in the Minutes as one of the pastors of this 
station in 1861 and 1862, but the appointment was merely nominal. 

20 Mr. Wyatt had charge after conference until Mr. DeLaMatyr arrived .in 
June. H. B. Elkins received in 1868 a nominal appointment to this church. 

21 Charles Fletcher was nominally assigned to this church with F. P. Tower 
for a short time in 1872. 



to which is added a llst of teachers, etc., in the 

Sunday School. 

The Dates indicate when the several Officers were first named as 

such in the Records. 

I. Local Preachers. 





















Marvin Richardson 
Ithiel Smead 
Wm. Blagborne 
John Brower 
Chas. W Carpenter 
Wm. Dawson 
Thomas Sands 
John Dalton 
James Ambler 
Anthony E. Nichols 
Artemas Stebbins 
John Nickerson 
Wm. SummeFfield 
Christopher Rutherford 
Jonathan Lyon 
Elnathan Raymond 
Oliver V Amerman 
John Dikeman 
Joseph Baggott 
Wm. Ducker 
Fred. D. McFarlan 
Charles Pomeroy 
Wm. Smith 
John B. Merwin 
Chas. Stearns 



















John Brice 
Charles C. Leigh 
John Collett 
Samuel Bedell 
Walker Booth 
Chas. S. Macreading 
John A. Edmonds 
George Hollis 
Wm. McAllister 
John Rossell 
Wm. Stevens 
Nathaniel Ruggles 
D. I. Reed 
Wm. S. Finch 
John Redfield 
John Cottier 
Robert Ibbotson 
James Clayton 
Francis Bottome 
Thomas H. Burch 
Thomas Noden 
Joshua L. Burrows 
Chas. J. Fox Julius 
Thos. Stephenson 
David Tuthill 
John Bull 
David G. Stratton 

4 6 

Old Sands Street Church. 

i860 Benj. W Bond 
" Thomas N. Laine 

1861 Robert Owen Jones 
" Robert Robson 

1862 John G. Fay- 
John Jeffrey 


1863 Thomas Owen 

1864 B. F B. Leach 
1866 Robert M. Moore 

" John W Banta 
1869 C. W Drake 
1872 Alfred F Farnell 

II. Licensed Exhorters. 

181 1 John Brower 

1814 Peter Conger, (colored) 

" James Titus, (colored) 

1822 Wm. Burnett 

" Daniel Field 

1826 Wm. Ducker 

1 83 1 Wm. N. Searles 

1834 Chas. C. Leigh 

1834 John C. Melvin 

" Fred. R.. Anderson 

1836 David Allen 

1842 John H. Ackerman 
" Sidney E. Brewer 

1843 Wm. M'Allister 
1846 Thos. J. Humphrey 
1867 George Leavens 

III. Class Leaders. 














Nicholas Snethen 
John Garrison 
Isaac Moser 
James DeGraw 
Ithiel Smead 
Joseph Moser 
George Smith 
John Brower 
James Herbert 
Joseph/ Herbert 
Thomas Kirk 
Simon Richardson 
Wm. Foster 
Andrew Mercein 
John Cooper 
Isaac DeVoe 
John C. Bennett 
Jeremiah Wells 
Jacob Brown 
Benj. Cook 
Abraham Bennett 
Daniel Field 
Adrian Bogart 
Elnathan Raymond 
Christopher Hempstead 
Richard Smith 
Chauncey Carter 
Christopher Rutherford 












John Smith 
Henry R. Piercey 
Jacob Garrison 
Adam Seabury 
John G. Murphy 
Benj. R. Prince 
Thomas Frazier 
John Dikeman 
Christopher Stibbs 
John Brice 
Walter Blair 
Samuel H. Moser 
Peter C. Bell 
Linus K. Henshaw 
Richard VanVoorhis 
James N. Hyde 
James Sweeney 
Ebenezer Latimer 
Augustus Rolph 
Warren Richmond 
David Coope 
John G. Pray 
D. T. Tarbell 
Samuel Husted 
Geo. R. Booth 
Ebenezer T. Web 
Chas. Stearns 
Wm. Ducker 

Historical Record. 













John T. Tarbull 
Thomas Thorp 
Aaron Kimball 
Thomas M'Coy 
Carman A. Simonson 
Benj. Handley 
Daniel T. Wells 
Sidney E. Brewer 
Joseph (or Sam'l) Dyk 
Moses Bedell 
Lorenzo Stansbury 
John C. Melvin 
Jos. Wesley Harper 
Fred. R. Anderson 
Rob't M'Chesney 
Nathaniel Bonnell 
Ellis Parcell 
James B. Gascoigne 
Wm. D. Odell 
John II. Ackerman 



Chas C. Leigh 
Dr J. W Corson 
Solon C. Foster 
Robert W Peck 
Samuel Hurlburt 
Samuel B. Tuthill 
Wm. M'Donald 
Jacob M. Gray 
John Benjamin 
Samuel Utter 
Nelson Morris 
Wm. Stevens 
Thos. W Chadwick 
Moses F. Odell 
Wm. Cartwright 
Stephen R. Frazier 
Wm. Wall 
Orrm Swift 
James DeGray 
John E. Hanford 
Richard Lawrence 
Thomas H. Burch 
John Cottier 

Andrew D. Gale 
John Rossell 
1850 Dr. Dillon S. Landon 
" Wm. Edsell 

1852 Ira Perego, Sen. 
Israel Willersdorf 
Melville Kelsey 
David O'Neill 

es Ira Perego, Jr. 

Watson Sanford 

1853 Conklin S. Gabel 
" John G. Fay 

Aaron Kingsland 
Daniel D Whitney 
Martin Fanning 
1856 John M. Bradstreet 

" James L. Romer 
1859 Robert M. Lockwood 
1862 Wm. Foster, 2nd 
" John Jeffrey 
" Daniel A. Cooke 
Robert J. Powell 
Walter L. Bennett 
R. Shapton 

1866 Harvey Hubbell 
Geo. Leavens 
Wm. I. Preston 
John M. Espenscheid 

" Samuel P Kittle 
" C. B. Hobart 

1867 Wm. Parker 
Walter Lock 

1868 Fred. G. Reast 
D. K. Elmendorf 
S. U. F Odell 
Richard Bunce 
Chas. L. Pitts 
Edgar M'Donald 
Willis M'Donald 
Miss Jane Vanderveer 
Augustus T. Gurlitz 

1880 James D. Robertson 

1881 Alfred Dredge 
1883 George S. Richards 


x 794 John Garrison 
" Thomas VanPelt 

IV. Trustees. 

1794 Burdet Stryker 

Stephen Hendrickson 


Old Sands Street Church. 








Richard Everitt 
Isaac Moser 
James De Graw 
James Herbert 
John Cornelison 
James Harper 
Thomas Kirk 
George Smith 
Wm. Henry- 
Andrew Mercein 
Robert Snow 
Isaac Devoe 
John G. Pray 
Samuel T. Anderson 
Joseph Herbert 
Isaac Nostrand 
John G. Murphy 
Jacob Brown 
Richard Van Voorhis 
Isaac Searles 
Jeremiah Wells 
Samuel Harper 
Joseph Moser 











Nathaniel Bonnell 
Joseph Wesley Harper 
Wm. Foster 
Thomas Frazier 
John Smith 

Chr'opher M. Hempstead 
John Dikeman 
David Coope 
Samuel H. Moser 
Wm. M'Donald 
John J. Studwell 
George J. Vining 
Tapping Reeve 
Ira Perego, Sen. 
Harvey Hubbell 
Abia B. Thorn 
John Cottier 
Daniel D. Whitney 
Crawford C. Smith 
Wm. I. Preston 
Aaron Kingsland 
John J. Barnier 
Fred G. Reast. 









V- Stewards 
Jacob Brown 1868 

Samuel H. Moser 1869 

David Coope 1870 

Joseph Wesley Harper 
Noah Silleck 
Richard Cadmus 
Nathaniel Bonnell 
Crawford C. Smith 
Samuel Hurlburt 
John J. Studwell 
John Cottier 
S. U. F Odell 
James B. Gascoigne 
Ira Perego 
Daniel I) Whitney 
Joshua I. Gascoigne 







John J. Barnier 
Sam S. Utter 
Henry G. Fay 
David Stanley 
John M. Espenscheid 
Augustus T. Gurlitz 
Lowery Somerville 
David S. Quimby, Jr. 
Erastus Hyde 
James M'William 
Egbert Acker 
Philip Waters 
Wm. R. Hegeman 
James D. Robertson 
Daniel B. Phillips 

VI. First Male Sunday School Superintendents. 
1816 Robert Snow 1861 Moses F Odell 1 

1833 Joseph Herbert 1866 Ira Perego 

1 Odell was practically First Superintendent earlier, Herbert in his old age 
holding the first place nominally, as a merited honor. 

Historical Record. 49 

1867 Samuel U. F Odell 1877 Henry G. Fay 

1875 Sam S. Utter 1882 John M. Espenscheid 

1876 William I. Preston 

VII. Second Male Sunday School Superintendents. 

t8i6 Joseph Herbert 2 1865 Samuel U. F Odell 

1833 Orrin Swift 1867 Sam S. Utter 

1842 Charles C. Leigh 1876 John J. Barnier 

1848 Moses F Odell 1877 John M. Espenscheid 

1862 John Cottier 

VIII. Third Male Sunday School Superintendents. 

Chauncey Carter 1847 John Cottier 

Orrin Swift 1848 James De Gray 

1834 David Coope 1853 John G. Fay 

1836 Thomas Thorp 1862 Ira Perego 

1841 John Bryant 1864 S. U. F Odell 

1847 William' M 'Donald 1865 Robert M. Lockwood 

IX. Fourth Male Sunday School Superintendents. 
Orrin Swift 1833 Xewall Bond 

X. First Female Sunday School Superintendents 
1821 Sarah Swim 1870 Elizabeth Vanderveer 

1853 Mary Ann M 'Gee 1871 Ella Folger 

1868 S. Virginia Cutter 

XI. Second Female Sunday School Superintendents. 

1847 Mary Ann M'Gee 1868 Elizabeth Vanderveer 

1853 Lavinia M. Thorn 3 1870 Ella Folger 

1857 S. Virginia Cutter 

XII. Sunday School Secretaries. 

James E. Underhill 1848 James Cheetham 

James Hall 1854 Joshua I. Gascoigne 

1833 Joshua Marsden VanCott " Richard F Vanderveer 

1834 Isaac H. Herbert " John E. Fay 

1836 Albert Carpenter 1862 Daniel B. Phillips 

1838 Valentine Carman 1869 David S. Quimby, Jr. 

" Thomas W. Chadwick 1878 Edwin W. Dorlon 

Moses F. Odell 1881 H. H Guhrauer 
1847 Thomas H. Burch 

2 He was one of the founders of the school at that time, and probably ranked 
text to Robert Snow, 

8 Married Joshua I. Gascoigne. 

50 Old Sands Street Church. 

XIII. Sunday School Treasurers. 

1853 David O'Neill 1880 John L. Utter 

1869 Egbert Acker 1881 Sam S. Utter 

XIV. Sunday School Librarians. 

1837 Thomas W Chadwick 1864 Edgar M 'Donald 

1838 Benj. xM. Stilwell '• E. A. Smith 
" Job G. Habberton " W S. Weeks 
" James C. Akins 1867 J. R. Burnett 

1841 Sidney C. Herbert 1869 C. C. Smith, Jr. 

1842 Edwin Beers 1870 Joseph Carson 
1847 John G. Smith " Edward M'Gill 

" Chas. H. Stilwell 1872 Chas. E. Hyde 
" Washington Wadsworth " A. J Powell 

" Joshua I. Gascoigne 1873 Joseph A. Archer 

" Wm. A. Walker " Fred. A. Nast 

1850 G. Snowden Dey 1874 Gerald Whitney 

185 1 Joseph Richards " John L. Utter 

1852 Richard M'Donald 1877 Wm. H. Aitkin 

1855 Abia B. Thorn " Britton C. Thorn 
" David O'Neill 1878 Geo. B. Weaver 
" Wm. Walker " John E. Nast 

1856 Edward Hoagland " Wm. J. Rusher 

1857 John E. Fay 1879 H. H. Guhrauer 

1858 Henry G. Fay " Wm. N. Coler, Jr. 
" Joshua Trippett " J. P Simonson 

1859 John W Haskins 1881 Wm. J. Reast 
1859 Chas. J. Ashley " John Carrougher 
i860 Lucien Warner 1882 Wm. H. Creshull 
1862 Clarence Stanley 1883 Clarence White 


Joseph A. Hoyt 

XV. Sunday School Organists. 
1875 A. J. Powell 1881 Thos. L. Doyle 

1878 H. H. Nast 1882 Wm. Neidlinger 

XVI. Male Sunday School Teachers:— Intermediate 
and Senior Departments. 

1816 Robert Snow 1816 Richard Cornwell 

Joseph Herbert Samuel Hall 

Daniel DeVinne Enoch Jacobs 

Andrew Mercein Sidney Herbert 

John Dikeman David Coope 

James Engles Calvin Knowlton 

Abraham Vanderveer Alfred Bush 

John G. Murphy j onn S. Wright 



Historical Record. 












John Wright 
John T. Stibbs 
John Bryant 
Benj. Payne 
J. Marsden Van Cott 
Daniel Stanley 
Jeremiah Mundell 
Samuel S. Powell 
John B. Brewster 
John Carhart 
John A. Swim 
John Webb 
Newall Bond 
Isaac A. Swaim 
Chas. C. Leigh 
Wm. Bennett 
Martin Mandeville 
William Smith 
Isaac Tillottson 
Wm. S. Burnett 
Hamilton Reeve 
Isaac H. Herbert 
Daniel T. Wells 
Benj. Vail 

Thomas W Chadwick 
George W Williams 
William Rushmore 
Hosea Clark 
William S. Osborn 
Frederick Stevenson 
Samuel Bragaw 
Theron Burnett 
John Balderson 
William O. Stibbs 
Richard Thomas 
Albert Carpenter 
James Love joy 
John Baldwin 
Cornelius Garrison 
Henry Lane 
Edward Bishop 
Daniel Downs 
Andrew Pinkney 
Edward Morehouse 
Richard Ducker 
George Hollis 
George Slaughter 
Edwin C. Estes 










Chester Bedell 
Wm. Bowmen 
Valentine Carman 
Asaph M. Youngs 
Isaac Carhart 
Jesse Gilbert 
Peter P Haff 
John Van Ness 
Henry Mallery 
Job G. Habberton 
Peter W La Roza 
Wm. Clinton 
Wm. S. Habberton 
Richard Cadmus 
Benjamin Handley 
Homer Wiltse 
George Heneger 
Isaac Selover 
John H. Benjamin 
James C. Akin 
Ephraim J. Whitlock 
Benj. M. Stilwell 
Alfred Dykes 
George W. Copeland 
William E. Cornell 
Edwin Beers 
Joseph Adams 
Edmund Morehouse 
Charles H. Stilwell 
John G. Smith 
Wm. M'Allister 
John B. Sandford 
Joseph Harrison 
Charles D. Wadsworth 
Washington Wadsworth 
Stephen R. Frazier 
William H. Drew 
Richard Buggy 
Thomas H. Burch 
Charles H. Fellows 
Horace Harrison 
Moses F Odell 
Oliver C. Lincoln 
William Edmonds 
Thomas Reed 
Edward Sandford 
Egbert Acker 
William J. Bogart 

5 2 

Old Sands Street Church. 














W. C. Marvin 
John Wiggins 
Joseph Way 
John W Valentine 
William Walsh 
Orrin Swift 
James DeGray 
Ira Perego, Jr. 
Benjamin A. Haff 
Samuel Utter 
Watson Sandford 
Ira Sturgis 
John Moore 
Cornelius Moore 
James Bogart 
Edward Allen 
Sam S. Utter 
Alexander Alexander 
James Cheetham 
Gilbert Reed 
Dillon Stevens Landon 
Edward Thomas 
Robert Turner 

Benjamin Bennett 

William S. Finch 

Charles T. Wales 

George W Valentine 

Gilbert S. Dye 

John Davis 

Harlow Fenn 

Jacob Week 

John W. Corson 

John Albro 

Robert Young 

Charles S. Norton 

Julius R. Pomeroy 

William Irvine 

Henry G. Howell 

Frederick Hart 

Sidney Smith 

Charles J. Oliver 

Henry Broad 

Henry D. Gould 

Benjamin Moore 

William E. Shelden 

William M. Ketchell 

Thomas W Armstrong 

John J. Gentry 





























F. G. DeVictor 
John D. Burtnett 
F. Asbury Johnson 
David O'Neill 
John Badger 
Thomas Wright 
Robert Brown 
George A. Williams 
Henry B. Keane 
Henry Deane 
Charles E. Davis 
John G. Fay 
Augustus C. Wessell 
George S. Benjamin 
Samuel W Bliss 

James F- Greenwood 
James B. Gascoigne 
James B. Craig 

John B. Tuthill \ 

William Ringwood 

Alfred P Reynolds 

Frank A. Gale 

John W Haskins 

John M. Sawyer 

William Parker 

David Tuthill 

G. Sawyer 

Joseph A. Armfield 

Lemuel Burrows 

Benjamin Cornwell 

Benjamin Bryer 

John Randolph Martin 

Bethuel Rogers 

Charles Shaw 

David A. Cooke 

James M. Bradstreet 

W Sales 

Edward Hoagland 

Robert M. Lockwood 

Henry G. Fay 

Alfred Perego 

Charles Nordhoff 

Edward Torbitt 

James L. Romer 

Benjamin Bond 

David Stanley 

Thomas Markley 

A. T. VanWyck 

Historical Record. 
































Edward P Bellows 
Henry Duren 
John O. Hoyt 
Henry J. Cutbill 
John E. Fay 
Andrew Merwin 
Francis Dunn 
Z. Clayton 
Sam'l U. F. Odell 
John Cottier 
James Clayton 
Abia B. Thorn 
John Bentley 
George Vernam 
Thomas Tilley 
Charles A. Righter 
Robert. L. Tilton 
Charles B. Hobart 
Thomas G. Peckham 
Thomas P Waldron 
Charles Wood 
Remington Vernam 
Peter Backman 
Robert M. Moore 
James Darling 
James E. Bloomer 
John Parker 
Lewis N. Haskins 
Clarence Stanley 
Richard F Vanderveer 
Charles A. Barnard 
David S. Quimby, Jr. 
Ebenezer Bell 
S. J. Hammond 
Willis M'Donald 
William I. Preston 
John Jeffrey 
William A. Knowles 
Theodore Sutherland 
J. Frank Dillont 
George E. Henderson 
William J. Tate 
Lewis N. Smith 
Samuel P Kittle 
Augustus T. Gurlitz 
John M. Espenscheid 
Fred. A. Nast 






























Edgar M'Donald 
John J. Barnier 
Henry L. Stiles 
P T. Horton 
E. P Alvord 
Erastus Hyde 
Thomas Wintringham 
Nathaniel F Elkin 
J. B. Sutton 
James M'William 
Daniel B. Phillips 
J. S. Seaman 
Jason Moore 
John Reed 
John B. Weaver 
L. B. Strong : 
Edwin W Dorlon 
Richard Bunce 
William E. Lowe 
Britton C. Thorn 
J. DeBaun 
S. J. Strong 
W H. Soden 
Lowery Somerville 
William R. Hegeman 
George A. Smith 
John Walhizer 
Frank Whiteley 
Jewell F Harris 
LaGrange Browne 
Thomas L. Geehr 
William A. Heydecker 
Philip Brooks 
Andrews Preston 
W R. Wengorovius 
Longworth Parker 
Richard A. Brown 
Orris Thayer 
George S. Richards 
Herbert E. James 
H. C. Wood 
J. W Robinson 
Richard Moore 
Charles S. Downs 
George A. Smith 
P J. Gruman 


Old Sands Street Church. 

XVII. Female Sunday School Teachers:— Intermediate 
and Senior Departments. 4 






Susan Remsen 

married John Dikeman 
Mrs. Richard Cornwell 
Ida DeGraw 
Huldah Frazier 

married Samuel S. Powell 
Elizabeth Rogers 

married Ira C. Buckelew 
Ann Noon 
Julia A. Herbert 

married Orrin Swift 
Mary Garrison 
married Washburn 

" Ellen Mayor 

married Wallace 

" Eliza Wright 

married Barzillai Russell 
'' Magdalen Storms 
'• Ann Wright 

married Edward Rowe 
1829 Cecelia Stansbury 
married Daniel Stanley 
Jane Si Heck 

married Henry Case 
Ann Silleck 

married John Emmons 

Betsey C. Griswold 

married Warren Richmond 
Mrs. Welch 

Elisabeth F Vandervecr 
Sarah Bumford 
Jane Ann Lewis 
Elisabeth Leonard 
Margaret M'Donald 

married Rev. F. Bottome 
Mrs E. Davis 
Sarah Ann Holland 
Mrs. Sarah E. Crook 
Phoebe A. Gascoigne 
Eliza Todd 
Phoebe A. Morrell 
Mrs. Robert M'Chesney 
Maria H. Hewett 
Mrs. John Wright 
Abby Fowler 







Sarah De Gray 

married Thomas Reed 
Ruthella Smith 
Mrs. Emily Buddin 
Alice Ostram 
Mary Ann M'Gee 
Mrs. Andrew Mercein 
Justine Curtis 

married Edwin Butler 
Amelia M. Haff 

married John J. Welsh 
Sarah Stilwell 

married Bradstreet 

Henrietta Kingsland 
Elisabeth E. Haff 

married Egbert Acker 
Mary Whitlock 

married James Lent 
Sarah E. Smith 
Rebecca Bangs 
Margaret Perego 
Julia Newton 
Amanda Munson 
Harriet E. Frisby 

married James Gillen 
Mary Ann Mundell 
Sarah A. Fowler 

married DeMott 

Martha M. Oakley 
S. Lucinda Beers 
Mrs. Samuel Utter 
Isabella Mundell 

married Nattrass 

Emeline Stringham 

married Alex. M'Kay 
Henrietta C. Sperry 

married Rev. R. S. Maclay 
Alice Appleyard 
Cornelia Smith 
Mrs. Emily Barndollar 
Eliza A. Ward 
Sarah A. Hewett 

married Henry Funnell 

Sarah Silleck 
1049 Charlotte Mallory 





4 Some of the early teachers are probably omitted on account of the absence 
of records. 

Historical Record. 













Isabella Lane 
Mrs. Ann Eliza Crook 
Eliza Bertschi 
Charlotte Lawton 
Mary Augusta Bonnell 

married Joseph Way- 
Caroline M. Tryon 
Jane Rowland 
Sarah A. Small 
Susan Elizabeth Mount 
Lydia Bedell 
Harriet Eliza White 
Mary E. Keeler 
Wilhelmina Hertel 
Joanna Zimmerman 
Alma L. Powell 
Sarah Gertrude Watson 
Cordelia Johnstone 
Mrs. Maria Dunham 
Mary Wright 
Angeline Tuthill 
Mrs. Jane Hollis 
Elizabeth Hadden 
Emma Tuthill 

married Samuel W. Tubbs 
Christiana Beattv 
Elizabeth W Goodsell 
Elizabeth Powell 

married A. B. Thorn 
Lavinia Thorn 

married Joshua I. Gascoigne 
Emma A. Watson 

married Duryea 

Louisa Gildersleeve 
Sarah Matilda Kelsey 
Caroline Elizabeth Swift 

married Abram Inslee 
Sarah Jane M'Keon 

married William Smith 
Susan Wright 
Harriet A. Peck 

married Dr. Baker 
Mrs. F W Murray 
Mrs. Virginia Cutter 
Margaret Stryker 

married Fred. G. Reast 
Annie Herbert 
Hannah Chadwick 
Belinda Skippon 

married Thos. J. Humphreys 










Mrs. Phoebe Claxton 


Adaline P Harper 

married Vernam; after- 
ward Henry Yanderveer. 

Adaline Goodfellow 

Cornelia Wiggins 

Mrs. Moses F Odell 

Mrs. Mary T. Burns 
married Henry G. Fay 

Eliza Jane Wright 

Fanny Baker 
married Joseph Richards 

Mrs. John W Haskins 

Mrs. A. Wessell 

Mrs. Caroline Chappelle 

Mary A. Lightburn 

Julia E. Knapp 

Mrs. L. Canton 

Theresa Beatty 

Mrs. Cilley 

Anna Hinton 

Carrie M'Donald 
married Rev. T. H. Pearne 

Cornelia Anderson 

Kate Tompkins 

married Beekman 

Mrs. Cath n H. Scudder 

Julia B. Ruggles 

Caroline Torbitt 

Mary Trippett 

Emma Clayton 

Mary M. M'Cormick 

Marv E. Beatty 
married Simmons 

Carrie A. Wright 

Mrs. G. W Napier 

Miss S. Strong 

Mrs. Sarah Jane Utter 

Mrs. J. O. Hoyt 

Miss J. Clayton 

Jennie M'Donald 
married Robert M. Moore 

Georgia Bentley 

Amanda Drummond 

Mary Bentley 

Miss J. Goodmanson 

Mrs. Thomas Tilley 

Mrs. Rebecca Hull 


Old Sands Street Church. 








1862 Harriet Farley 1872 

married Avila 

" Mrs. David Hobart " 

" Annie O. Gray " 

married Theo. W. Sheriden " 

1863 Eliza L. M'Gee « 

" Mrs.S. U. F. Odell 1873 

" Elizabeth Landon " 

" Emma Baylis 1874 

" Sarah Hines 1875 

" Mary A. Burrows " 

1864 Miss C. J. Stewart « 
" Mrs. Elizabeth Quimby « 

" Ella Folger ^76 

" Mrs. S. E. Chamberlain « 

" Miss M. E. Hatfield 

" Mrs. Emily Darrow 

" Mrs. Eliza Mott ^77 

" Mary E. M'Donald 

married Wm. J. Tate «< 

" Josephine Crane 

" Mrs. Georgie Douglas 

1865 Annie Mumford 
l ' Isobel B. Embree 

1866 Mary G. Smith 
Emily Luckey 1879 
Julia Cutter " 
Mary H. Wilkinson 

married Wilhelm " 

" Julia E. Gable 

1867 Amy Landon " 

married A. T. Gurlitz u 

" Elizabeth Shaw « 

" Miss M. E. Thompson « 
" Mary J. Tate 
" Miss E. M'Kinley 
" Mrs. Charlotte S. Weller « 
" Mrs. Rev. E. G. Andrews 

1868 Matilda M. Wallace 

1869 Lizzie M'Kay 
" Miss E. xM. Olliffe 
" Mrs. A. E. VanZandt 
" Mrs. Sarah Creshull 
" Fannie Moore 
" Jennie A. Price 

1870 Emma L. Hyde 
" Maria E. Ducker 
" Mrs. Edgar M'Donald 
" Mrs. D. K. Ducker 




Lizzie M. Olliffe 

married Sidney Smith 

Miss E. A. Seabury 
Mary H. Price 
Rebecca M. Nadal 
Maria M. Hyde 
Mrs. Jean M'Cloud 
Eleanor E. Seivwright 
Mrs. Rev. Geo. Taylor 
Libbie M. Wells 
Mrs. J. C. Drew 
Jennie L. Taylor 
Susie A. Allen 
Phoebe A. Allen 
Susie Taylor 
Josie Taylor 
Mrs. E. H. Landon 
Mrs. Wm. R. Hegeman 
M. Addie Guhrauer 
Mrs. J. T. Stratton 
Rhoda Clark 
Mrs. Geo. A. Smith 
Mary I. Pritchard 

married Jason Moore 
Ada L. Buell 
Bella Peck 
Mary J. Murray 

married C. C. Luckey 

Addie L. Heckler 
Emma C. Muldoon 
Emma J. Allen 
Louise C. Clayton 
Alice Johnston 
Mrs. O. C. Cobb 
M. Ethel Green 
Martha L. Nast 
Mrs. William I. Preston 
Emma S. Miller 
Emily A. Goodwin 
Georgia Clancey 
Mattie Malcolm 
Mrs. Rebecca Winner 
J. W M'Ardle 
Mattie J. Brown 
Lizzie Bunce 
Miss A. C. Wengorovius 
Lizzie M. Carpenter 
Mrs. P J. Gruman 

Historical Record. 


1883 Mrs. Geo. R. Harrison 
" Mrs. Sarah Cottrel 
" Mrs. M. J. Luckcy 

1883 Sophy Stratton 
" Fannie Bunce 


XVIII. Superintendents and Teachers of the Infant Department 

of the Sunday School. 

Moses F Odell 1867 Mary H. Price 

Esther Hollis 1868 Mrs. Harriet Taws 

married Rev. Wm. M'Allister married \V. Slade 

1870 Julia E. Gable 

" Mrs. Rev G. F Kettell 
1872 Sam S. Utter 
J. Allen 

Mrs. Wm. I. Preston 
1874 Mary H. Reast 

married Slater 

" Mary M'Allister 

1847 William Cart w right 

1848 John E. Hanford 
" Lucy Yining 
" Hannah Chadwick 

1850 Betsey C. Griswold 

married Warren Richmond 
" William Edsall 

1854 Lavinia M. Thorn 

married Joshua I. Gascoigne 

1855 David A. Cooke 
1857 Mary E. Cooke 
1862 Mrs. Egbert Acker 





William I. Preston 
Mary E. Phillips 

married Gerald Whitney- 
Ella Valentine 
Mrs. M. E. Pearsall 
Minnie Estabrook 

XIX. Officers of the Sunday School Missionary 


Presidents — 1847-'49, Charles H. Fellows; '5o-'53, Watson 
Sanford; '54, Wm. Edsall; 55, David O'Neill; '56, John G. 
Fay; '58-62, Rob't M. Lockwood; '64, S. U. F. Odell; '65-68 
M. F. Odell; '69 amf'77, A. B. Thorn; 'yo-'js and 'So-'8 3 , Sam 
S. Utter; '74-75, Henry G. Fay; '76, D. B. Phillips; '78-79, 
D. D. Whitney 

Vice Presidents — 1847, Joshua I. Gascoigne, Wm. Cart- 
wright; '50, Joseph Way; '51-53, Wm. Edsall; '54, Watson 
Sanford; '55-56, Richard F Vanderveer; '58-61, James L. 
Romer; '62-68 and '76, A. B. Thorn; '69, and '78-79, Sam s - 
Utter; '•jo-'-ji, S. U. F Odell; '72-73, Henry G. Fay; '74-'75, 
D. S. Quimby, Jr.; '8o-'S 3 , D. D. Whitney. 

Secretaries— 1847, Gilbert H. Read, S. S. Utter; '48, S. S. 
Utter; '49, H. N. Harrison; '50, Chas. G. Norton; ,51-52, Ira 
Perego, Jr., Sidney Smith; 53, Sidney Smith; '54-'5 6 , Joshua 
I. Gascoigne; '5S-59, Abia B. Thorn; '60-61, James L. Ro- 
mer; '62, David Stanley; '6 4 -'68, '72-75, '77-83, D - B - Phil " 
Hds; '6 9 -'7i, Edgar xM'DonaJd; '76, D. S. Quimby, Jr. 

-8 Old Sands Street Church. 

Treasurers — 1847-52, Egbert Acker; '53, David O'Neill; 
54-56; Edward Allen; '58-59; J. M. Bradstreet; '60-61; A. 
B. Thorn; '62-68, Sam. S. Utter; '69-76, and '78-83,- J. J. 
Barnier; '77, F. G. Reast. 

XX. Sextons. 

Joseph Moser, Abraham Bennett, Aaron Kimball, James 
Gillen, Conklin L. Gable, David Stewart, Hewlett G. Allen. 

Susanna Moser and Mary Garrison used often to light the 


Chronologically Arranged according to the Dates' of the earliest 
Connection of the several Ministers with this Church as Presiding 
Elders or Pastors; and accompanied by brief Memorial Sketches of 
the deceased Wives of the Preachers. 


ike the ancient ''Prophet of Fire," the Rev. Wool- 
man Hickson, whose name leads the list of Brook 
lyn Methodist preachers, suddenly strides into view 
as an anointed messenger of the Most High. The Church 
seems to have inherited no history of his birth or early life. 
Beginning six years prior to his death, we trace him as fol- 
lows by his 

PASTORAL RECORD: 1782, Somerset cir., Md., with F. Garrettson 
and J. Magary; removed during the year to East Jersey cir., where John Tun- 
nell and Joseph Everett had been appointed-; 1783, West Jersey cir., with J. 
Magary; 1784, Orange cir. ; 1785, Georgetown cir. ; 1786, Baltimore cir., with 
Adam Cloud; 1787, (ordained elder)-his name does not appear on the record 
of appointments, but he labored in New York and Brooklyn with John Dick- 
ins and Freeborn Garrettson. 

In the absence of a complete history of this faithful min- 
ister's work, we are thankful for such a glimpse of his charac- 
ter and his soul-saving labors as we have in the following in- 
cident, recorded by Lednum. It transpired in Worcester Co., 
Md., within the bounds of Somerset circuit, his first charge, 
in 1782. 

The dates in the lists of successive appointments do not represent calendar 
years, but conference years, beginning with the adjournment of the annual 
gatherings of itinerant ministers. 

■ Atkinson — New Jersey Methodism, p. 305. 

60 Old Sands Street Church 

One of tne appointments was at Robin Davis', near Indiantown, not far 
from the residence of a gentleman named Elijah Laws, a vestryman of the 
Church of England, as it was styled at that time. This man gave the Method- 
ist preachers a hearing, bnt he declared them to be deceivers and refused to 
hear them again. He had a daughter Rhoda, then in her twelfth year, who 
had been taught, in accordance with the views that church people generally held 
at that time, that dancing and other worldly amusements were quite innocent 
and proper diversions. Rhoda visited a widow lady of her acquaintance, with 
whom she went for the first time to hear a Methodist preacher. The minister 
they heard was Woolman Hickson. 

After the sermon in which he condemned dancing, and 
warned his hearers against the awful consequences of all 
kinds of worldliness and irreligion, as the historian says, 

Brother Hickson read the General Rules, and requested all who wished to 
join him to follow him upstairs. Robin Davis, his brother, their wives, the 
widow Avoman and Rhoda Raws followed him. The preacher spoke to each. 
Rhoda was asked if she would have her name enrolled. A question was raised 
as to the propriety of consulting her father first. Mr. Davis replied that her fa- 
ther was a man of moderation, and would use no violence toward his daughter. 
Before the preacher wrote her name he lifted up his eyes, hands and soul to 
God, and prayed that her name might be written in heaven and never erased. 
She returned home, fearing to tell her father what had taken place. Early next 
morning her brother Elijah, who was settled in the neighborhood, was reen 
riding with great speed to his father's house. He hastily threw the reins of the 
bridle over the horse's head on the pales, saying, "What do you think? Yes- 
terday Rhoda joined that new preacher, and now she must give up gay dress, 
dancing and worldly amusement. She is ruined, and she cannot be got away. 
The father listened to the tale, and after a moment replied, "Well, if the Meth- 
odists disown pecple for dancing, they will soon be clear of Rhoda, as she will 
dance the first opportunity she has." 

In a short time a ball was gotten up at this man's house, in 
which she was urged to join. When her father chided her 
for reading the Bible instead of engaging in the amusement, 
her honest, loving answer brought tears to his eyes. Mr. 
Lednum adds; 

"Soon the father and mother became Methodists, and her brother Elijah, 
who was panic-stricken when he heard of what he supposed was her ruin, if not 
the ruin of the whole family, was made class-leader over his father, his mother 
and his sister Rhoda." 3 

The writer of the above had the account from the lips of 
this same Rhoda, after she had spent sixty-eight years of de- 
voted service in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

3 Rise of Methodism, pp. 342-344. 

J\£tori? of Ministers. 6 r 

The Rev. Thomas Haskins, who traveled Chester circuit 
in 1783, thus refers in his manuscript journal to this faith- 
ful minister, then laboring on West Jersey circuit. 

September 23, 1783. Stayed in town for brother Asbury's coming; but he 
was detained. Brother Hickson preached from I Samuel, ii, 30, a useful dis- 
course. He made me blush with shame to hear how far he excelled me in 
grace and gifts. 

Jesse Lee states that "his labors were mostly in the coun- 
try, a small distance from New York, and on the east side 
of the North River. He then returned to the city of New- 
York, and died, ;^nd was buried in the citv " 4 Wakeley re- 
cords the plaintive tale of his sufferings, and the kind atten- 
tion of the New York brethren, who "nursed him when sick, 
and buried him when dead." They provided a nurse, Ann 
Wheeler by name, and paid her ^4 6s. They also paid his 
funeral expenses, 16 shillings. 5 At so small a cost there 
could have been no pomp or ceremony attending his burial. 
He evidently desired none. "When his ministerial brethren 
assembled in conference after his death, they paused to weep 
and to pay a brief but glowing tribute to the memory of hi* 
'"genius" and his "upright life;" then they grasped his fallen 
sword and mantle, and marched on to increasing triumphs. 

There is probably no authoritative record concerning the 
exact place of his burial, and it seems both strange and sad 
that the children of those who wept over his grave should 
have forgotten the place of his rest. It may with reason be 
presumed that he was buried under the old John-st. church. 
Wakeley states by authority that "vaults were built very 
early under Wesley Chapel in which to bury the dead. Mr. 
Lupton's vault was there, and Philip Embury fixed the Quor 
of it in 1770." 6 Robert Duncan placed certain valuables be- 
longing to the Methodists in those vaults for safe-keeping 
during the war. 7 Mr. Lupton's body was placed in his vault 
in 1796, and removed twenty-one years later. Wakeley says: 

In 18 1 7, when the old church edifice was torn down to erect upon the site a 
new and beautiful church, they d ; sinte-red the dead. It was necessary, as they 

4 History of the Methodi ts ] 138. 

5 See "Lost Chapters," pp. 313, 214- 6 Ibid -> P- I 3°- 

7 Ibid., p. 330. 

62 Old Sands Street Church. 

were about to erect a larger edifice. Some of the bones were gathered together 
and buried under one end of the church, and the others were interred in bury- 
ing-grounds. 8 

Robert Duncan and perhaps others of the early Methodists 
were buried in Trinity church-yard; 9 but it seems probable 
that an esteemed pastor, dying far from his relatives, (if he 
had any,) and buried by the trustees, would be laid to rest 
in a Methodist vault or grave. Such considerations, doubt- 
less, led to the statement in the memorial record in the New 
York Conference minutes, that Woolman Hickson's ashes lie 
beneath the old John-street church. 

The introduction of Methodism into Brooklyn, an account 
of which has been given in a former part of this work, will 
be forever considered the distinguishing honor of Woolman 
Hickson. .Should the father of old Sands-street Church re- 
pose in an unmarked tomb, and should the place of the 
church itself know it no more, yet we are well assured that 
the soul of Woolman Hickson lives, and his work will nev- 
er die. 

* "Lost Chapters," p. 330. 

9 Ibid., p. 434. Dr. Wakeley in "Lost Chapters," p. 124, erroneously lo- 
cates the grave of Barbara Heck in Trinity church-yard. See "Women of 
Methodism," pp. 1 99-205. 


he "elder" in charge of the district including Brook- 
lyn at the time of the establishment of Methodism 
there by Woolman Hickson, was the Rev Thomas 
Foster. He was born in Oueen Anne County, Maryland., 1 
October i, 1757. When about twenty-three years of age he 
began his itinerant labors, and thenceforth received from the 
conference the following 

APPOINTMENTS: 1780, Frederick circuit, Md.,with Win. Walters; 
1 78 1, Pittsylvania cir. , Va. , with James Mallory; 1782, Roanoke cir. ; with 
James Martin; 1783 , Sussex cir. , with Thos. S. Chew; 1784, Mecklenberg cir. , 
with Reuben Ellis; 1785, (ordained deacon and elder,) presiding elder in Va. ; 
1786, presiding elder, Eastern Shore of Md. ; 1787, presiding elder for all the 
territory north of Philadelphia; 1788, Talbot cir., Md., with John Jarrell 
and Lenox Martin; 1789, Fells Point; 1790, Northampton cir., with George 
Pickering; 1791, Dover cir., Del., with Evan Rogers; 1792, located. 

The above is an outline record of eleven years of most 
"heroic service." Rev. John Lednum, who knew him per- 
sonally, affirmed that ''no minister was more esteemed on 
account of sound talent and a holy life." 

A pastor stationed in the neighborhood in which Foster 
spent his last years, after making inquiries of his few re- 
maining contemporaries, wrote as follows: 

He was a plain Methodist preacher of the olden type. Every body regarded 
him with the greatest respect. He boldly condemned the fashions; when some 
of the sisters bought shawls with fringes, and wore them to church, he told them 
they must cut the fringes off, and the commands were complied with. The 
fringes were cut off and the shawls hemmed,' 2 

1 Lednum— "Rise of Methodism," p. 305. Stevens' statement that he was 
a native of Virginia, would seem to be an unauthorized and unintentional devi- 
ation from Lednum, whom he quotes as his sole authority in respect to Foster. 
See Hist. M. E. Church, vol. II, p. 83. 

* Letter from the Rev. J. E. Kidney to the author. 

64 Old Sands Street Church. 

In 1848 one of the veteran preachers paid a grateful tribute 
to the memory of Mr. Foster, who encouraged him in his 
early ministerial work. He says: 

To be bid God speed by such a saint, such a truly apostolic man as Thomas 
Foster, was like hearing' a voice from Heaven. Blessed was the young preach- 
er in those days, who was favored with his advice and counsel. 3 

During the last twenty-six years of his life he continued 
a local preacher, "a light and ornament to the church." He 
resided on a little farm in Dorchester, Md., near Washing- 
ton Methodist Episcopal Church, then known as "Foster's 
Meeting House," and was secretary of the board of trustees 
in that church for many years. From the neatly written 
minutes of the trustee meetings his signature was obtained. 
No one has been found who could give a description of his 
personal appearance; and it is believed that no likeness of 
him was ever made. 

It is stated that Mr. Asbury esteemed Thomas Foster very 
highly, and sojourned in his hospitable cottage when on a 
tour through the Peninsula. Lednum recollected having 
heard him preach and lead class in the Washington Chapel, 
in 1814. About two years later he listened to the last ser- 
mon ever heard from his lips, from Eccl. iii, 16: "And more- 
over, I saw under the sun a place of judgment, that wicked- 
ness was there; and a place of righteousness, that iniquity 
was there." The wickedness of courts, royal, civil and eccle- 
siastical; and the iniquity practiced at places of worship was 
the theme of his discourse. 

He died "much lamented," on the 10th of November, 1816, 
aged fifty-nine years. The Rev William Prettyman preached 
his funeral sermon. A plain marble slab marks the place 
of his interment in the family burial ground on the farm up- 
on which he lived, a few hundred yards from the church. 
It has been proposed to remove his remains to the church- 
yard, and erect a monument over them. 

Nancy, his wife, a daughter of Jacob Wright, who was 
one of the founders of the Washington Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, sleeps by his side, but her grave is without a 
memorial. They left no children. 

Experience and Ministerial Labors of Rev. Thomas Smith, p. 23. 


oolman Hickson's colleague in New York ano 
Brooklyn, the Rev. John Dickins, was born in 
London in 1746, 1 and educated at Eton College. 
He united with the Methodists in Virginia 2 at the age of 
twenty-seven. Three years later he joined 'the Conference, 
and the following is a record of his 

APPOINTMENTS: 1777, North Carolina dr., with John King, Le Roy 
Cole and Edward Pride; 1778, Brunswick cir. Va., with E. Pride ; 1779, Ro- 
anoke dr., with Henry Willis; 1780, ditto with Henry Ogburn; 1781-1782, a 
local preacher, continuing his ministerial labors in Virginia and North Carolina; 3 
1783, York city, with Samuel Spragg; 1784, remaining in New York; 
1785, Bertie dr., Va., with David Jefferson; 1786, (ordained deacon, 4 ) New 
York city a second time; 1787, (ord. elder,) remaining in New York, in charge 
of the Brooklyn class, with Woolman Hickson and F. Garrettson; 5 1788, still 
in New York and Brooklyn, with Henry Willis, "elder;" 1789-1796, Sup't. of 
the Printing and Book business in Philadelphia; 1797, not named in Conf. Min. 

Bishop Asbury met him in Virginia, in 1780, and wrote 

thus concerning him: 

Brother Dickins spoke on charity very sensibly, but his voice is gone. He 
reasons too much; is a man of great skill in learning, yet prays and walks 
close with God. He is a 'gloomy countryman of mine, and very diffident of 
himself. 6 

At this time "Dickins framed a subscription for a Semina- 
ry on the plan of Wesley's Kingswood school, the first proj- 
ect of a literary institution among American Methodists. It 

'See Conf. Minutes, 1798, p. 79. 2 Lee's History of the Methodists. 

3 From Lee's History of the Methodists, p. 253, and Wakeley's Lost Chap- 
ters, p. 293, we learn that although Mr. Dickens located, he labored inces- 
santly as pastor and book-steward. He was practically a conference preacher. 

4 Asbury's Journal, Ed. 1852, Vol. i, p. 518, and Conf. Minutes, 1786. 

5 See "Lost Chapters," pp. 310, 321. 6 Asbury's Journal, Vol. i, p. 377- 

66 Old Sands Street Church. 

It resulted in Cokesbury College." 7 He was the first mar- 
ried preacher in John-street, New York. 8 While stationed 
in that city, Mr. Dickins had the honor of being "the first 
Methodist preacher to receive Coke, and approve his scheme 
of the organization of the denomination." 9 He is said to be 
the author of the name "Methodist Episcopal Church," a- 
dopted by the Christmas Conference, of which he was a 
member. 10 

While he was stationed in New York, in 1788, J. B. Mat- 
thias attended his ministry, and he was probably the first 
Methodist preacher that Matthias ever heard. He writes 
concerning him: "He was a plain-dressed man, and preached 
with all his might;" and he seems, although unconverted, to 
have become attached to him, for he thus describes the 
change of preachers at the ensuing conference: "They took 
away my thundering John Dickins, and gave us Robert 
Cloud and Thomas Morrell." 

When John Dickins entered upon his work as book stew- 
ard, he was required to do two men's work, being at the 
same time pastor in Philadelphia. The seven years of his 
service in the Book Concern constituted the formative pe- 
riod of the publishing interests of the denomination, and 
their subsequent magnificent growth is largely due to his 
fidelity, ability, and enterprise in that department. The fol- 
lowing statement is a tribute to his industry: 

During the four years immediately preceding his death he issued about 114,- 
000 books and pamphlets, taking charge of every thing pertaining to the work. 11 

He died of yellow fever in Philadelphia, September 27, 
1798, aged fifty-two years. When dying he clasped his hands, 
while tears of rapture coursed down his cheeks, and shouted, 
"Glory to Jesus! My soul now enjoys such sweet commun- 
ion with him that I would not give it for all the world. 
Love him! Trust him! Praise him!" Rev. Ezekiel Cooper 
preached his funeral sermon, which was published. 12 His 
remains were first deposited in the cemetery of St. George's, 
in Crown-street, Philadelphia. 13 They were afterward placed 

7 Stevens— Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 41. 8 "Lost Chapters," p. 299. 

9 Stevens— Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 41. 

10 Meth. Quar. Rev., 1832, p. 98. « Funeral sermon by Ezekiel Cooper. 
12 Noticed by Lednum and Sprague. 13 Lednum, p. 198. 

Record of Ministers. 67 

in the old Methodist burial ground in Baltimore, but were 
some years later removed with the remains of his widow, at 
the expense of the Baltimore preachers, to the Mount Oli- 
vet Cemetery near that city, where many of the heroes of 
Methodism sleep.' 4 His death brought a greater sense of 
loss to the church than that of any other preacher up to that 
time. 16 Asbury said on hearing of his death: 

He was in person and affection another Thomas White to me. * * * I feared 
death would divide us soon. 16 

He still further testifies: 

For piety, probity, profitable preaching, holy living, Christian education of 
his children, secret closet prayer, I doubt whether his superior is to be found 
either in Europe or America. 17 

As a public man he was eminent among the chieftains of 
early Methodism; and few, if any, excelled him in classic 
scholarship. He "was in literature, logic, zeal and devotion, 
a Paul among the preachers." 18 

His wife, before their marriage, was Miss Elizabeth Yan- 
cey. She resided near Halifax, N. C. When in 1783 the 
question was asked for the first time in conference, "How 
many preachers' wives [in the entire connection] are to be 
provided for?" the answer was, "Eleven;" and among them 
was named "Sister Dickins." Four years later the follow- 
ing was published in the Minuses: 

Question 18. Are not many of our preachers and people dissatisfied with 
the salaries allowed our married preachers who have children? They are. 
Therefore, for the future, no married preacher shall demand more than ^48 , 
P. C. 

Mrs. Dickins was the pioneer preacher's wife in this re- 
gion, and the first to occupy the John-street parsonage. Few 
if any of her successors have filled the station of minisier's 
wife more honorably. She wrote affectionately concerning 
her husband and the transport of his dying hour. Lednum 

She survived her husband until 1835, when she ended her days in Baltimore, 

14 Letter of Rev. Dr. James H. Brown to the author. 

15 Lee's History of the Methodists, p. 254. 

16 See Lednum, p. 198. " Quotations in Sprague's Annals. 
18 Lednum, p. 201. 

68 Old Sands Street Church. 

at the house of her son in law, Dr. Samuel Baker. She had been a Methodist 
for more than fifty years, and was seventy years old at the time of her death. 19 

One of John Dickins' daughters died of yellow fever the 
day before his death; another maiden daughter lived with 
her sister, Mrs. Dr. Baker. 

John Dickins had a son, Asbury Dickins, who was well 
and honorably known in our day The following extract is 
from a first-class authority: 

Asbury Dickins, born July 29, 1780, was in 1801 associated with Joseph 
Dennie in founding the "Port Folio" at Philadelphia. He was first clerk in 
the United States treasury department from 1816 to 1833, and in the state de- 
partment from 1S33 to 1836, when he was elected secretary of the United 
States senate, which office he held till July 16, 1861. While in the treasury 
and state departments he was often acting secretary, and wrote many important 
state papers. He died in Washington, October 23, 1861. 20 

Rise of Methodism, p. 198, 20 American Cyclopsedia. 



mong the early Methodist preachers in Brooklyn, 
none has reached a higher rank in history than the 
Rev. Freeborn Garrettson. 
He left his charge on the Peninsula and came North to 
spend the latter part of the Conference year 1787 in New 
York, as the associate of Dickins and Hickson, both of 
whom were in feeble health, 1 and it may be presumed that 
he applied himself to carrying forward in Brooklyn the 
work which Hickson had begun. Two years later he suc- 
ceeded Henry Willis in taking charge of the district which 
included Long Island. He was the first to bear the full ti- 
tle of "Presiding Elder," but his predecessors, "Elders," 
filled the same office, attending the quarterly conferences, 
superintending the preachers, and administering the sac- 

Freeborn Garrettson was born in Maryland, August 15, 
1752, and was born again in 1775, when twenty-three years 
of age. He appears to have been a moral young man, and 
outwardly religious. A word spoken to him personally by a 
Methodist exhorter filled his conscience with alarm. He 
tried to quiet his fears by living a "respectable" life, and 
"serving God in a quiet manner," but when he listened 
to the searching appeals of Asbury and Shadford and 
Daniel Ruff, his "foundations would shake." He was con- 
verted on horseback, while returning from a Methodist 
meeting through a lonely wood. "I threw," he says, "the 
reins of my bridle on my horse's neck, and putting my 
hands together, I cried out, 'Lord, I submit!' *** My soul 

was so exceedingly happy that I seemed as if I wanted to 

_ — # — 

6 Wakeley — "Lost Chapters," p. 321. 

70 Old Sands Street Church. 

take wings and fly away to Heaven." 2 That very day he es- 
tablished a family altar; and shortly after, "while standing 
in the midst of his slaves, with a hymn book in his hand, be- 
ginning their family worship, he pronounced his servants 
free." 3 

He commenced holding meetings and exhorting his neigh- 
bors from house to house. He accompanied Martin Rodda 
on his circuit, and so suddenly and unexpectedly did he find 
himself a preacher, that he was "alarmed," and "mounted his 
horse to escape fifty miles to his home." But he did not di- 
minish his evangelistic labors. Presently (1775,) "Daniel 
Ruff called him out to a circuit. He went, never to turn 
back." 4 

It was in the midst of these earliest itinerant labors, that 
he yielded to a sudden impression, and preached that mem- 
orable sermon to the soldiers, by which the youthful Ezekiel 
Cooper was led to Christ. His ministerial career, thus be- 
gun, covers the long period from 1775 to 1827. He never su- 
perannuated. The following are his 

CONFERENCE APPOINTMENTS: 1776, Frederick dr., Md., with 
M. Rodda; 1777, Brunswick cir. , Va., with Wm. Watters and John Tunnell; 
1778, Kent cir., on the Peninsula, with Joseph Hartley, John Littlejohn, and 
John Cooper; 1779, State of Delaware cir., with Francis Asbury, Caleb B.Ped- 
icord, Lewis Alfrey, M. Debruler; 1780, Baltimore cir., Md. , with Daniel Ruff, 
and Joshua Dudley, 1781, Sussex cir. , Va. , with James Morris; 1782, Somerset 
cir. Md., with James Magary; 1783, Talbot cir. , with John Mayor; 1784, dit- 
to, with William Thomas; 1785, (ordained deacon and elder,) Shelburne, No- 
va Scotia; 1786, associate "elder" in Nova Scotia with James O. Cromwell; 
1787, "elder" of a district on the Md. Peninsula, and a few months previous to 
the conference in October, 1788, in New York with John Dickins and Wool- 
man Hickson; 1788, elder, Hudson River and Lake Champlain Dist. ; 1789, 
New York Dist., — Long Island to Lake Champlain; 1790-1792,, Hudson 
River Dist. ; 1793, elder, Philadelphia Dist., and pastor Philadelphia station; 5 
1794, New York Dist.; 1795, "elder" Western Mass. and Eastern New 
York; 1796-1797, New London, Pittsfield and New York Dist., with Sylves- 
ter Hutchinson, associate; 1798, Albany Dist.; 1799, New Jersey Dist.; 1800 
-1803, New York Dist.; 1804, Rhinebeck; 1805, New York, with N. Sne- 

2 Bangs' Life of Garrettson, p. 57. 

3 Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. i, p. 354. 4 Ibid., vol. i, p. 355. 
5 At the end of six months he was to exchange places with Thomas Morrell of 

New York, but this arrangement seems not to have been carried out on account 
of the failure Mr. Morrell's health. See "Lost Chapters," by Wakeley, p. 578. 

Record of Ministers. 7 r 

then, A. Hunt, John Wilson; 1806, do., with T Bishop, S. Crowell, John 
Wilson; 1807, conference missionary; 1808, Rhinebeck again; 1809-1810, mis- 
sionary; 1811-1814, New York Dist. again; 1815, no station; 1816, mission- 
ary; 1817, sup'y, Bridgeport, Ct., with A. Hunt; 1818-1820, sup'y, without 
appointment; 1821-1827, conference missionary. 

Wakeley says that while in New York, previous to the 
conference of 1788, he "occasionally made an excursion on 
Long Island;" and it is not improbable that he was one of the 
first to repeat the gospel call that Woolman Hickson had 
sounded on the slopes of Brooklyn. The record of appoint- 
ments shows that he was once pastor and twelve years pre- 
siding elder over the Sands-street church. 

The labors and trials of his early ministry were almost 
unparalleled even in his day. He preached twice, thrice, 
and even four times a day in Maryland. On one occasion 
he was nearly killed by the blow of an assailant, but contin- 
ued preaching, "his face bruised, scarred, and bedewed with 
tears." Once a ruffian attempted to drown the voice of the 
preacher by beating a drum. A great fire was made in the fire- 
place of the room where he was preaching in a very warm 
day, and the author of the mischief stalked through the house 
ringing a bell. While preaching at another time he was 
siezed by a mob and thrust into prison; but in the midst of 
all this opposition, his triumph was wonderful. Mobs were 
terrified, and their ringleaders converted. He won the re- 
spect and affection of the masses, and people often walked 
twelve miles to hear him preach; and before many years that 
whole region — eastern Maryland and Delaware — had been 
conquered for Methodism. 

It was a notable period in the life of Garrettson, when he 
spent six weeks in traveling twelve hundred miles to warn 
out the preachers to attend the Christmas conference in 1784, 
when the Methodist Episcopal Church was formally organ- 
ized. At this conference he was ordained by Bishop Coke, 
and volunteered for Nova Scotia, where his success was so 
great that Wesley desired that he might be appointed bishop 
for the British Provinces. Dr. Bangs says the reason why 
the conference did not accede to Mr. Wesley's request was 
probably the unwillingness of the preachers in the states "to 

6 << 

Lost Chapters," p. 321. 

j 2 Old Sands Street Church. 

have him entirely separated from them." 7 Coke wrote to 
Garrettson in letters that have never been published, 8 not 
that he had been requested, but that he had been "ordered" 
by Wesley to ordain Mr. Garrettson bishop; and the exact 
truth may be that the conference began to think it best to 
do as they pleased, and not as Mr. Wesley ''ordered." Free- 
born Garrettson was a member of every general conference 
from 1804 to 1824. The story of his pioneer movements 
on the Hudson River District (1788) with his little band of 
ardent young men, reads like a romance, and Coke at the 
next conference triumphantly records: 

He hns not enly carried our work in New York state as high as Lake Cham- 
plain, but has raised congregations in most of the states of New England, and 
also in the little state of Vermont within about a hundred miles of Montreal. 

Garrettson shares with Jesse Lee the honor of planting 
Methodism in the New England states. These old friends 
met on the highway near Boston, and such an affectionate 
greeting is rarely witnessed in this world. 

In 1789 a severe accident befell him in Sharon, Conn. He 

was thrown down by his horse and lay unconscious for some 

time. His shoulder was dislocated and his body very much 

bruised. He says: 

I knew not who I was nor where I was. After lying for a considerable time, 
I made an atempt to lay my head on my hat for a pillow. I saw the two first 
letters of my name upon my hat, and immediately I knew myself and cried out, 
"Is this pocr Garrettson?" 

But that same day he borrowed a carriage and rode on; 
and without any cessation continued his travels and his 
preaching, his body racked with pain, but his "mind sweetly 
calm and happy " 9 

In the year 1793 Freeborn Garrettson, then forty-one 
years of age, was married to Miss Catharine Livingston, 
daughter of Robert R. Livingston of Clermont, and sister 
of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, Washington's friend. 
The ceremony was performed by Peter Moriarty in the First 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Rhinebeck, and on the same 

1 Life of Garrettson, p. 166. 

8 Extracts from these letters were read by Rev. Dr. A. S. Hunt in his cen- 
tenary sermon before the New York East Conference, 1884. 

9 Bangs' Life of Garrettson, p. 180. 

Record of Ministers. 73 

occasion they all partook of the Lord's supper. 10 Through 
his wife, as one of the heirs of the property belonging to 
the Livingston Manor, Mr. Garrettson came into posses- 
sion of the Rhinebeck estate. The Garrettson mansion was 
Bunyan s "Palace Beautiful," and for many a weary itiner- 
ant it was a refuge, a hospital, a sanctuary and a home. As- 
bury admired its "beautiful land and water prospect," and 
named it "Traveler's Rest." 11 Here the pioneer bishop spent 
many an hour in communion with his life-long and intimate 
friend. They were not always of one mind; Garrettson dif- 
fered with him in his views of the general superintendency, 
holding the opinion that instead of having the whole conti- 
nent under one general superintendency. it would have been 
better if it had been divided among several, each superin- 
tendent being responsible to the general conference for his 
own particular district.' 2 Many of the early Methodists be- 
lieved that but for these views of church government, he 
would have been made a bishop. 

Mr. Garrettson preached his last sermon in Duane-street 
church, New York, on "Growing in Grace." In the same 
city soon after this, quite unexpectedly he fell asleep, Sept. 
26, 1827, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. He died with 
devout and rapturous praise upon his lips. His last sen- 
tence was, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! Halle- 
lujah! Hallelujah!" William Phoebus, Nathan Bangs, and 
Thomas Burch preached powerful sermons on the character 
and memory of this great and good man. The prominent 
traits of his character w r ere sincerity, zeal, liberality, equi- 
nimity of temper and unconquerable perseverence. His in- 
tegrity was never questioned. 

He was one of the the founders of the Missionary Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a valuable friend 
and supporter of other benevolent institutions. As a preach- 
er he was sometimes eloquent, and his sermons were always 
instructive and practical. A tombstone, appropriately in- 
scribed, marks the place of his rest in Rhinebeck, N. Y 

10 Bangs' Life of Garrettson, p. 20S. 

u Asbury's Journal, vol. ii, p. 462, and vol. iii, p. 77. 


Life of Garrettson, p. 205. 


Old Sands Street Church. 

His wife, Catharine, only two months his junior, sur- 
vived him twenty-two years, and died at the age of ninety- 
six. The Re\ r . Dr. A. S. Hunt, who is familiar with her gen- 
ealogy, states that she was a lineal descendent from the 
distinguished Covenanter, John Livingston, of Scotland. 
Simpson s Cyclopedia says: 

She was a daughter of Judge Robert R. Livingston, who inherited a large 
estate on the Livingston Manor on the Hudson River. Her mother was the 
daughter of Col. Beekman, who was governor of what is now the state of Del- 
aware, under a commission from Sweden. Her brother, Robert R. Livingston, 
was one of the committee who framed the Declaration of Independence, and was 
hist chancellor of the state of New York, and administered the oath to Wash- 
ington, when first inaugurated President. He was also Secretary of Foreign 
Affairs, and Minister to France. She had six sisters, — women of more than 
ordinary talent, three of whom married generals famous in the history of their 
country. Their house was a center of deep patriotic interest, where public 
movements were noted and discussed, and no small sacrifices were made. 

In the year 1789, two years after her conversion, with one 
other person she formed a Methodist class at Rhinebeck. 
That one other was a poor, ignorant laborer. When her 
friends in great distress and chagrin inquired why, if she 
must be a Methodist, she had not joined a class with some 
respectable persons in it, she replied that she had joined that 
class in order that it might have one respectable person. A 
class meeting was held at her house several years, usually 
conducted by the pastor. In her last class meeting she said 
she wished "to know more of God," and soon that wish was 
gratified. As she neared the gates of death her soul was ex- 
ultant. She exclaimed, ''He is coming!" and raised her 
hands and looked upward after she could speak no more. 
Dr. Stephen Olin preached her funeral sermon. Two other 
well-known ministers, John Seysand J. N. Shaffer, took part 
in the services; and the Rev. L. W Peck wrote for The 
Christian Advocate an obituary containing some of the facts 
above mentioned. In a work entitled "Our Excellent Wo- 
men," (page 31) it is said: 

To the last her fine intellect was preserved, and she knew little of the infirm- 
ities which usually accompany extreme age. Her eye had lost none of its bright- 
ness, her form was erect, and her step elastic. 

The visitor will find her grave beside that of her husbanc}. 
Tablets with epitaphs to the memory of both were placed in 

Record of Ministers. y 5 

the church at Rhinebeck. 13 Dr. Stevens' ''Women of Meth- 
odism" contains a beautiful sketch of Mrs. Garrettson. 

Miss Mary, only daughter of Freeborn and Catharine Gar- 
rettson, the author once met at a session of the New York 
East Conference. The writer of a memorial sketch has this 
paragraph concerning her youth: 

Related to a large number of prominent families, and accustomed to visit or 
be visited by them, her reminiscences of early life — or many of them — are wor- 
thy of permanent record. In company with Mrs. Col. Wm. Few, she visited 
the notorious infidel, Thomas Paine, as he lay on his death-bed at the house of 
Madame Bonneville, and graphically described the conversation between him 
and the kind Christian lady who strove to lead him to the great Physician. On 
all subjects but religion he conversed freely; on that he maintained a sullen, un- 
broken silence. 13 

After visiting ner in company with Dr. Pope, Dr. Rigg of 

London wrote: 

She is eighty-two years old, and a woman of remarkable ability and culture, 
of various and extended reading, as well as of great benevolence. So bright a 
woman of her age it has not been my lot to meet. 

Before her death she became blind as Milton, but contin- 
ued to be quite as busy. She organized a sewing society 
for the aid of our missionary work among the women of 
Utah. In her zeal to attend that society which met on an 
inclement day, she took cold and returned home to die. She 
is the author of the beautiful epitaphs of her father and moth- 
er in the Rhinebeck church. 

She bequeathed her entire estate to the church. Wilder- 
cliffe, as the old homestead has for many years been called, 
passed by purchase into the hands of a relative. 


Rev. R. Wheatley, D. D., in The Christian Advocate. 


he Rev. Henry Willis was presiding elder and pas- 
tor during the last year of John Dickins' term 
(1788), and doubtless often preached in Brooklyn. 
He shines forth as one of the brilliant stars in the galaxy 
of early Methodist preachers. His memory has much of the 
same fragrance as that of Summerfield. His contemporaries, 
Quinn, Ware, Garrettson and Asbury, vie with each other in 
admiring the greatness and rejoicing in the usefulness of 
this saintly minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Mr. Willis was a native of Brunswick County, Virginia. 
We are without further knowledge of him until we find him, 
in 1778, remaining on trial in the itinerant ranks, which fact 
indicates that he had previously been appointed to a circuit. 
From the old Minutes we gather the following 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1778, Pittsylvania cir., Va., with Wm. 
Gill and John Major; 1779, Roanoke cir. with John Dickins; 1780, Mecklen- 
burgh cir. with Moses Park; 1781, Talbot cir. with Jeremiah Lambert; 1782, 
Dorchester cir. with Samuel Rowe; 1783, New Hope, N. C. ; 1784, Holsten, 
Tenn.; 1785, (ordained deacon and elder) presiding elder in the Holsten region; 
1786, Charleston, S. C, with Isaac Smith; 1787, appointed to New York with 
John Dickins, but no traces of him are seen ; he was probably called to another 
field — (See sketch of Woolman Hickson); 1788, elder for New York 
and Long Island, with two Conference preachers and probably several local 
preachers under him; 1789, associate presidng elder with Lemuel Green in Dela- 
ware, Pennsylvania and Ohio; 1790, local preacher in Baltimore; 1791-1792, 
Philadelphia, with John Dickins the book agent; 1793, ditto with F Garrett- 
son, Thomas Morrell and John Dickins; 1794-1795, a "located" elder, or what 
is since known as supernumerary without an appointment; 1796, Old Town; 
also Baltimore Town with Wm. Jessop, Andrew Nichols and John Hagerty; 
1797, Baltimore city with John Harper and Nelson Reed; 1798, ditto with John 
Harper and Thos. Lyell; 1799, ditto with Thos. Morrell and L. Mansfield; 
1800, Frederick cir. with Thos. Lucas, Jos. Stone and Jonathan Forrest; 1801, 
ditto with Joseph Stone and Noah Fiddler; 1802, ditto with Curtis \\ illiams, 

From Roberts' *' Centenary Album.' 

Record of Ministers. - -j 

Fielder Tarker and J. Forrest, sup'y; 1803, Fredericktown, sup'y, with Jona- 
than Forrest; 1804. Frederick cir. again, with R. R. Roberts and James Lucas, 
sup'y; 1805, sup'y, without appointment; 1806, sup'y, Frederick cir., with H. 
Jefferson, F. Parker and John "Watson; 1807, sup'y, without appointment. 

The foregoing record shows how extensively he traveled, 
and how frequently he was compelled to retire from the ef- 
fective ranks, returning to the front again and again, with a 
soul full of fire and zeal. He was the first man ordained 
deacon and elder by Bishop Asbury after the Christmas 
Conference in 1884, having in his absence been elected to or- 
ders by that conference. 1 He received William Thacherinto 
the church in Baltimore in 1790. 2 It is quite probable that 
he was the "Brother Willis" who solemnized the marriage 
of Lorenzo and Peggy Dow in 1805. 3 

Endowed by nature wuth rare gifts, respectably educated, 
and imbued with much of the spirit of Christ, he performed 
heroic service for the church while sinking slowly to the 
grave with pulmonary consumption. James Quinn, who 
knew Henry Willis in the Redstone valley, thus describes 

Fie was six feet in stature, slender, well read, an eloquent man, mighty in the 
Scriptures, and a most profound and powerful reasoner. 4 

During the last years of his life, although stationed at 
Fredericksburgh as a supernumerary preacher, he was most 
of the time, in fact, a retired minister, settled with his fami- 
ly on a farm of five hundred acres, at Pipe Creek, within the 
bounds of that circuit. In 1S01 the Baltimore Conference 
held its session in his parlor. When not able to perform 
full ministerial work, he would accept no pay from the 
church. 6 He was one of the dearest friends of Asbury. The 
good bishop "kissed and encircled in his arms the orphan 
children of his departed friend, Henry Willis, and blessed 
them in the name of the Lord." 6 

Mr. Willis died in the early part of the year 1808, "with 
triumphant faith in Christ," at his home in Pipe Creek, 
Frederick County, Md., in the immediate vicinity of the 

1 Lednum, "Rise of Methodism," p. 224. 

2 Wm. Jewett, in The Christian Advocate. 3 See Dow's Journal. 

4 Quoted in M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopedia. 

5 Minutes of Conferences, 1808, p. 157. 6 Bcehm's Reminiscences, p. 189. 

8 Old Su /ids St/'cci Church. 

place where Strawbridge introduced Methodism .nto Mary- 
land. A low brick monument, without inscription marks 
the spot where his sacred dust reposes, not far from the 
house in which he lived. It is near the Wakefield station, 
on the Western Maryland Railroad. 

The following brief extract from a letter by Henry Willis 
to Freeborn Garrettson, dated New York, November n, 
1788, breathes the sweet spirit of this saintly man. 

I received your letter by Thcmas, and I really rejoice to hear that the Lord 
is with ycu. I hcpe you will lay the foundation of much good this year. * * * 
Who can commemorate the gracious acts of divine merit, or proportion unto 
God the praise that is his due? * * * Thoughts are not sufficiently quick to trace 
the footsteps of [divine] goodness; they are mere than the soul is able to re- 
count. * * * The day and the night are full cf God, and all the way that I go 
he is round about it. I trust he will give me a heart to love him mere and 

more. 7 

Ann, wife of Henry Willis, was the daughter of an emi- 
nent layman, Jesse Hollingsw T orth, of Baltimore, — a woman 
of intelligence and of a sweet Christian spirit. The venera- 
ble Joshua Warfield, of Sam's Creek, Maryland, wrote as 
• ollows: 

The wife and children cf Henry Willis I remember very well, and frequently 
visited the family when I was growing up to manhood, in company with my 
sisters. Some years after, the place was scld, and IVTrs. Willis bought a farm 
on Sam's Creek, adjoining my father's, and lived there several years, and final- 
ly removed to Baltimore and died there. 8 

She survived her husband thirty-four years, and outlived 
all her children. Their names were Henry, William, Jesse, 
Mary Ycllott, Jeremiah, and Francis Asbury. On the sixteenth 
of February, 1842, at the age of seventy-three, "she bade earth 
adieu, and, passing peacefully the shades of death, leaning 
on the Savior's arm, entered triumphantly the city out of 
sight." 9 Her remains are sleeping in the old burial ground 
that belonged to the Methodists, in the rear of Greenmount 
Cemetery in Baltimore, and the place is marked by a tomb- 
tone. 10 Her portrait, with that of her husband, has been bre- 
served by the Baltimore Conference Historical Society. 

1 Copied frcm the original, in possession of the Rev. Dr. A. S. Hunt. 

8 Letter to the author. 9 Extract from inscription on her tombstone. 

10 Roberts' Centenary Album, p. r*>. 



he Rev. Thomas Morrell was born in New York 
city, November 22, 1747. He was a school-mate 
and life-long friend of Lindlev Murray, the gram- 
marian. His mother was converted through the labors of 
Philip Embury, and joined the first Methodist class in 
America. The family afterward moved to Elizabethtown, 
New Jersey. 1 

The eventful history of Thomas Morrell previous to his 
conversion is thus narrated by the Rev. Dr. S. R. Dunn, of 
New Jersey: 

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, and on receiving the news of the 
battles of Concord and Lexington, he formed a company of volunteers and 
joined the patriot army. 2 He was severely wounded in the battle of Long Is- 
land, in which three thousand patriots lost their lives. His own company, be- 
ing in advance of the main army, was nearly cut to pieces. Lying wounded on 
the field of battle, and only escaping the brutal fury of the British soldiery by 
feigning himself dead, Washington permitted six soldiers to carry him on a 
hurdle to New York, and thence to his father's house in Elizabethtown. From 
thence, as Lord Cornwallis approached, he was removed to New Providence, 
to the house of Rev. Jonathan Elmer, where he finally recovered. He received, 

The father was a resident of Newtown, L. I., before going to New York. 
See Sprague's Annals. 

For the name and number of his military company, see sketch of the Rev. 
John Merrick in this book. 

So Old Sands Street Church. 

while there, a commission as major of the Fourth New Jersey Regiment of the 
Continental army. Accepting the appointment, he was out in active service 
nearly the whole year 1777. He was in the battle of Brandywine, where, guard- 
ing the passage of Chadsford, his regiment suffered severely, and finally gave 
way under the furious charge of Kuyphausen. It was in this battle that Lafay- 
ette was wounded in the leg, from which he never fully recovered. Major 
Morrell was also in the battle of Germantown. His health, after this hotly 
contested battle, which was so honorable to the army of Washington, was so 
feeble that he retired from the army amid the regrets of Washington and his 
fellow patriots. He returned to Elizabethtown, and re-engaged with his father 
in mercantile pursuits. 3 

When about thirty-eight years of age, he was brouglit to 
repentence by the powerful preaching of the Rev. John Hag- 
gerty. In three months thereafter he was induced by this 
earnest preacher to abandon his lucrative business and de- 
vote himself to the ministry of the word. One of his early 
efforts has been styled a "successful failure." So complete- 
ly had he failed in his own estimation that he concluded he 
was not called of God to preach, and determined to proceed 
no farther in that direction. The sequel is thus narrated by 
the Rev John Atkinson: 

Early the ensuing morning while at breakfast at his uncle's, there was a 
knock at the door. A lady entered desiring to see the preacher of the previous 
evening. In a few moments another came, and then an old man upon the same 
errand, all of whom had been awakened under the sermon deemed by him a 
failure. He of course recalled his purpose to preach no more, and was encour- 
aged to go forward. 4 

Here follows the list of his 

APPOINTMENTS: 1786, supply on Newark cir., N. J., (including Stat- 
en Island, N, Y.,) with Robert Cloud; 1787, (traveling connection,) Elizabeth- 
town cir., with R. Cloud; 1788, ordained deacon, Trenton cir., with J. John- 
son; 1739, ordained elder, associate presiding elder, with F. Garrettson, 
New York Dist., also New York city and Brooklyn, with Robert Cloud, John 
Merrick, Wm. Phoebus, and last part of the conference year, Jacob Brush; 5 
1790, presiding elder, New York Dist,; 1791, New York city, with R. 
Whatcoat and J. Mann; Traveled with Asbury, and preached in Charleston, 
S. C, several months previous to the session of the New York Conference, 
1792; 1792, New York again, with Lemuel Green and Geo. Strebeck; 1793, 
ditto, six months, with Daniel Smith and Evan Rogers; 6 1794, Philadelphia, 
Pa. ; 1795, no appointment on account of ill health; 1796-1797, local; 179S, 

3 Year Book of Churches in New Jersey, r88i. 

4 Memorials of New Jersey Methodism. 

5 "Lost Chapters," p. 368. 6 Ibid., p. 395. 

Record of Ministers. 8 1 

Elizabethtown, N. J., with James Tolleson and S. Thomas; 1799, (Baltimore 
Conference,) Baltimore cir., Md., with L. Mansfield and H. Willis; 1800, Bal- 
timore and Fell's Point, with Geo. Roberts, Philip Bruce and N. Snethen; 
1S01, New York city, with John M'Claskey, D. Ostrander and M. Coate; 1802, 
ditto, with Thomas F. Sargent and John Wilson; 1803, ditto, with Michael 
Coate, Ralph Williston and John Wilson; 1804, (Phila. Conf.,) Elizabethtown, 
N. J., with B. Iliff and S. Budd; 1805, no appointment; 1806-1824, local; 
1825-1826, (Phila. Conf.,) sup'y, Elizabethtown, N. J., w!th T. B. Sargent; 
1827-1828, ditto, with Daniel Parish; 1830-1831, ditto, with E. S. Janes; 1832, 
ditto, with William A. Wilmer; 1833, ditto with E. L. Janes; 1834, ditto, with 
Wm. H. Gilder; 1835-1836, ditto, with James Buckley; 1837, (N. J. Conf.,) 
sup'y, Elizabethtown, with J. A. Raybold; 1838, ditto, with I. N. Felch. 

His appointment to New York in 1789 is not mentioned 
in the Minutes. In his unpublished journal, however, he 
states that he was so- appointed with Robert Cloud, who was 
with him all the year, and John Merrick, who was with him 
four months. During a part of that year he was engaged by 
order of the conference in building the old Forsyth-street 
church. In less than six months from the date of his com- 
mission he preached the dedicatory sermon. It was at the 
conference of this year that Mr. Morrell was appointed with 
John Dickins to conduct the "official interview of the Meth- 
odist bishops with the great first president, in which the de- 
nomination was the first of American churches to recognize 
publicly the new government." 7 

In 179 1 his health failed, and he left his station in New 
York to accompany Asbury to the South. On this journey 
Morrell shared with the bishop in some of his romantic ex- 
perience. A woman was preparing supper for them who 
had never seen any tea. The bishop having some with him, 
handed her the paper and requested her to make some tea. 
She boiled the whole of it, threw away the "juice," and spread 
the leaves on a plate, and said, "Help yourselves to tea." 8 
The bishop left him in Charleston, S. C, where he performed 
good service till June, 1792. He made "an effective stand 
against Hammett, publishing a pamphlet in reply to his at- 
tacks on Asbury and Coke." 9 On reading this pamphlet, 
Bishop Asbury wrote: "Had Brother Morrell known more 

T Stevens— Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 144. 

8 Wakeley— "Lost Chapters," p. 378. 

9 Stevens— Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 147. 

82 Old Sands Street Church. 

he would have replied better." 10 The verdict of history is, 
however, that the bishop had good reason to be satisfied. 
That strong defense of Methodism added to its author's al- 
ready acquired fame as a leading man in the denomination. 
Mr. Morrell was twice married. Bishop Asbury officiated 
at both nuptial ceremonies. Concerning the former the bish- 
op on the day of the marriage wrote: 

Wonders will never cease. Nothing could serve but I must marry Thomas 
Morrell to a young woman. Such a solitary wedding, I suppose, has been but 
seldom seen. Eehold Father Morrell, fifty-five, Father Whatcoat, sixty-five, 
Francis Asbury, fifty-seven, and the ceremcny performed solemnly at the sol- 
emn hour of ten at night. 11 

Soon after his location in 1796, his good old mother died. 
Although his ministerial record shows that he was supernu- 
merary many years, he preached during much of the time as 
frequently as when he was numbered among the effective 
preachers. He lived to be past ninety, and was held in great 
honor. When in his eighty-ninth year, he was invited to 
dedicate the second Forsyth-street church in New York, but 
was too feeble tc comply The following — the only para- 
graph from his writings which our space will permit us to 
quote — gives a pleasing view of his experience in the calm 
sunset of his life. 

Through the tender mercy of God I have lived to see the beginning of anoth- 
er year, being now ninety years, one month, and nine days old — a longer period 
than any of our family have lived. I have many things to be thankful for — my 
life prolonged to so advanced an age, having the faculties of mind in perfect 
exercise, my health tolerably good, sleep sound, appetite good, my wife in 
health, my children all religious and in health, my son successful as a preacher, 
my soul devoted to God, and plenty of temporal things. Would to God I was 
more thankful, more holy, more heavenly-minded. This morning I have de- 
voted my soul and body to God; and though I am unable to preach as former- 
ly, yet I am endeavoring by grace to walk with God. 12 

He died in triumph, August 9, 1838, in Elizabethtown, 
N. J. He said in his last moments: "I am going to glory; I 
have gotten the victory; all is well!" Throughout the length 
and breadth of the land, the church which had increased from 
twelve members when his mother joined, to upwards of sixty 

10 Asbury's Journal, edition 1852, vol. ii, p. 154. 

11 Asbury's Journal, vol. iii, p. 67. 

' 2 Stevens — Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 148. 

Record of Ministers. %% 

thousand at the time of his death, heard with deep emotion 
the tidings of his departure. He had been a contemporary 
and friend of Washington and La Fayette, of Wesley, and 
Coke, and Asbury, and had given a long life of pure and no- 
ble devotion to the country and the church. 

He is described as "a man of thoroughly defined habits 
and character," "an early riser, scrupulously temperate and 
frugal, and punctual to preciseness." One who knew him 
well, says: 

He was always occupied with something; and hence to th"- very last he was 
cheerful. He carried with him down to extreme old age, the freshness, bouy- 
ancy, and energy of youthful feeling, and the entire capability of attending to 
all his business with the utmost punctuality and accuracy. * ** His appearance 
was unique and striking. He was rather short in stature, but strongly built; 
his neck was short, his head not large, his eye bright and blue, his lips thin, 
and his whole appearance indicative of more than ordinary firmness. lie al- 
ways wore a covering on his head like a smoking cap, from which his hair fell 
gracefully on his neck, He wore a long frock coat buttoned to the chin, and 
without the lecist ostentation was a man of the old school. 13 

His ability was well worthy of respect. Mr. Murray says: 

While he never made any pretentions to extensive learning, philosophic acu- 
men, or critical researches, he was a pungent, practical, and at times a power- 
ful preacher. 

His remains, with those of his wives and several of his de- 
scendents, repose in the family vault in the burial grounds 
of the First Presbyterian church in Elizabeth city, N. J. 

Lydia Frazer, his first wife, was mother of the Rev. F. A. 
Morrell, who writes: 

She died when I was an infant, [October II, 1808.] I have heard my father 
speak of her as an amiable and accomplished lady. 14 

Eunice, his second wife, had formerly been married to a Mr. 
Hamilton. October 8, 1809, is the date of her marriage to 
Thomas Morrell. She lived until 1850, surviving her hus- 
band twelve years. 

The Rev. Francis Asbury Morrell, son of Thomas Morrell, 
died December 12, 1881, in the seventy-fifth year of his age, 
and the fifty-first year of his ministry. He was an honored 
and useful member of the New Jersey Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. 

13 Murray in Sprague's Annals. 14 Letter to the author. 


'le^erf k>£>uct 

he Rev. Robert Cloud was stationed in New York 
soon after the formation of the little society in 
Brooklyn, and while it was yet under the care of 
New York city preachers. Soon afterward he was in charge 
of Brooklyn as presiding elder. 

He was born in Brandywine Hundred, New Castle Coun- 
ty, Delaware, August 21, 1755. One who knew him inti- 
mately wrote as follows in an obituary notice: 

When about twenty-one years of age. through the instrumentality of the 
Rev. Mr. Webster, 1 of Harford County, Md. , he embraced the religion of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The 
writer has often heard him relate the circumstance of his conversion, in a Meth- 
odist class-room, habited in the uniform of a soldier of the Revolution, which, 
however, he soon exchanged for the uniform of a Methodist preacher. 2 

This fact makes him conspicuous, for notably few are the 
heroes of early Methodism with whom Robert Cloud 
must share the honor of having been a soldier in the Revo- 
lution. And had he been the only man to enter the itinerant 
ranks from out the 

" Heaven-born band, 
Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause," 

It would have imparted no brighter lustre to his name than 
now gilds it as accompanied on the roll of honor by the 
names of such renowned soldier-preachers as Thomas Mor- 
rell, Thomas Ware, John Merrick, and Robert Hutchinson. 
His obituary further states that he commenced his min- 

1 This was the Rev. Richard Webster who joined the Methodists in 1768, 
and faithfully served the Church as an itinerant and local preacher, till his 
death at the age of eighty-five, in the year 1824. Lednum. 

4 Baltimore Visitor, 1833. 

Record of Ministers. 85 

isterial labors in 1777, and suffered his full share of the pri- 
vations incident to the itineracy of that early day From 
various sources we have compiled the following brief 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1777, local preacher; 1778, (traveling connec- 
tion,) appointment not known, 3 1779-17S4, located; 17S5, (re-admitted to conf.) 
Trenton cir,, N. J., with John M'Claskey and Jacob Brush; 1786, Newark; 
1787, ordained deacon, — Elizbethtown cir., with Thomas Morrell; 1788, Long 
Island cir. ; 17C9, ordained elder, — New York and Brooklyn, with John 
Merrick, Wm. Phoebus, Thomas Morrell, and Jacob Brush; 4 1790, New York, 
with Wm. Jessop; 1791, presiding elder, New York Dist. — L. I. to New- 
burgh; 1792, presiding elder, Wyoming to Staten Island; 1793, Chester, Penn., 
six months, and Wilmington, Del., six months; 1794-1796, "under a location;" 
1767-1808, probably most of the time a located preacher; 1809, (Western Conf.) 
missionary; 1810, Knox, Ind. ', 1811, Delaware, Ohio, 1812, Deer Creek, with 
Chas, Waddle; 1813-1S32, located. 

His location in 1779 is the first on record in the history of 
the itineracy in America. The reader will observe that he 
returned to the conference in 1785, located again in 1794, 
was again re-admitted to the traveling connection in 1809, 
and located a third time in 1813. His first location occurred 
about the time of his marriage to Miss Rachel Matson, of 
Philadelphia — a Quaker lady who afterward united with the 
Methodists. While in his prime, as the foregoing record 
shows, he was for several years presiding elder. In the states 
of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and 
Kentucky, he was known as a fervent, laborious, clear-head- 
ed minister of God. He was one of the preachers in New 
York and Brooklyn in 1789, and among those converted un- 
der his powerful preaching in John-street was J. Barnet 
Matthias, who afterward became a heroic standard-bearer in 
the church. 

The question may arise, How could a man like Robert 
Cloud so completely escape the notice of the historians of 
the church, notwithstanding he was colleague to such well- 
remembered preachers as John M'Claskey, Jacob Brush, 
Thomas Morrell, John Merrick, William Phoebus and Will- 

3 So incomplete are the early conference records that the fact of his joining 
the traveling ministry is not named, and the first record is of his "desisting from 
traveling" in 1779. 

4 These men alternated throughout the year. See Minutes of Conferences, 
and "Lost Chapters," pp. 366, 368. 

8(5 Old Sands Street Church. 

iam Jessop? The only explanation of his passing into com- 
parative obscurity that can be given, is his temporary depart- 
ure from God, his lapse into immorality. 5 

He sought forgiveness and regained the favor of God; and 
in the west, whither he removed, his downfall appears not 
to have been remembered against him." The author of his 
obituary describes his zealous labors in the itineracy, and 
then adds: 

Nor did his exertions cease when compelled by ill health and family concerns 
to locate; far, very far from it. Every hour that could be spared was employed 
in carrying the glad tidings of salvation to those who were destitute. Societies 
were formed, houses built and then handed ever to the itinerant brethren, while 
he went in pursuit of mere lost sheep. Yes, "the wilderness" cf Chio "heard 
his voice and did rejoice." In Kentucky, also, where he ended his days, so 
long as he was able, although in his seventy -eighth year, did he preach the un- 
searchable riches of Christ. 

A "Report of the Independent Kentucky Bible Society 

5 The Rev. Geo. W Lybrand writes: "It is painful — the blot on Mr. 
Cloud's name. He was overtaken by adultery, and his fall is proved by testi- 
mony from four sources: 

(i.) Memoir of Jesse Lee, p. 242: — 'Saturday Oct. 6, 1798. On to Wm. How- 
ell's at North East, and put up with him. I was greatly pained at hearing of 

the apostacy of R C , an old minister, dismally fallen.' 'Sun., Oct. 7. 

We staid at North East, and at 11 o'clock Mr. Asbury preached on Heb. xii, 
15-17. He gave us a good discourse, and I exhorted. There was some stir 
among the hearers.' 

(2.) Asbury's Journal, vol. ii, p. 329: — The bishop was with Lee. His journal 
indicates trouble. 'Maryland. On Saturday [October 6, 1798,] we rode six 
miles to North East. My bruised side pained me much; my spirits were sad. 
Dark clouds imposed over Methodism here.' 'Sunday, Oct. 7. I preached in 
the North East church on Heb. xii, 15-17. The substance of my sermon was, 
1. A caution against failing to obtain the repenting, converting, persevering, 
sanctifying grace of God. 2. How some bad principles, persons and practices 
were like wormwood, gall and poison to society. 3. How small the gain — how 
great the loss of peace. 4. That some might apostatize beyond the possibility 
of being restored, and weep hopeless and unavailing tears, etc' 

(3.) Methodism in New Jersey, by Rev. John Atkinson, p. 351: — 'Robert 
Cloud * * * is said to have been an excellent preacher, but he unfortunately de- 
parted from the narrow path. * ** Rev. Thomas Morrell received a letter from 
Mr. Cloud, in which he stated that he was restored to the church, and intended 
to remain within its enclosure till his death. 

(4.) I traveled (i860 and 1861) Newark circuit — one of the points Cherry Hill, 
Cecil County, Md. An aged member, a mother in Israel, knew all about his 
fall, his restoration in the revival of 1799, his preaching again, going west in 
1800, and she heard his farewell sermon. I have no doubt that he was fully 
restored." — Letter to the author. 

6 It remained unknown to some of his nearest friends. One of them writes: 
"My grandfather never left the Methodist Episcopal Church, nor did he ever 
"depart from the narrow path.' I lived with him from my earliest recollection 
till his death in 1833, and never heard of such a thing. A more consistent man 
I never met with, I think." — Letter to the author. 

Record of Ministers. 87 

for 1819," printed that year in The Weekly Recorder, a relig- 
ious purnal published in Chillicothe, Ohio, and signed "Rob- 
ert Cloud, President, J. W Palmer, Secretary," indicates 
great energy and enterprise on the part of the officers, and 
bears testimony to the activity of Mr. Cloud in those days. 
His published obituary adds: 

It is but just to say that in the latter part of his life he became dissatisfied 
with the form of government in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and although 
he continued in connection with it, he often lamented its departure from prim- 
itive Methodism, and manifested much concern for the Methodist Protestant 
Church. But let all his friends know, let the church of Christ know that he 
died in the full assurance of faith. He retained his senses to the last, and left 
this for a better world without a struggle or a groan. 

His death occurred at the residence of his son, in Lexing- 
ton, Ky., on the 5th of June, 1833, in the seventy-eighth year 
of his age. The place of his rest is marked by a head-stone 
in Dr. Cloud's family ground in the city where he died. 

Mr. Cloud was a man of decided convictions and never 
failed to make known his opposition to those things which 
he could not endorse. At the conference of 1791, seconded 
by Freeborn Garrettson, he made a vigorous speech against 
Benjamin Abbott's noisy and boisterous manner of conduct- 
ing religious services. 7 

We are without information concerning his personal ap- 
pearance. An old-fashioned silhouette was in the posses- 
sion of his descendants, but it has been lost. Robert Cloud 
had a brother named Adam Cloud, a Methodist preacher — 
restless, unreliable, and finally disowned by the church. He 
may have been the pseudo Methodist preacher to whom Dr. 
Nathan Bangs refers in his account of the origin of Meth- 
odism in Savannah, 6-a. 8 

Rachel Matson, wife of Robert Cloud, is said to have 
been sister to Enoch and Aaron Matson, 9 who were Jhonor- 
ably identified with the introduction of Methodism into some 
parts of Pennsylvania. 10 We learn from Wakeley that, she 
was the first preacher's wife mentioned in the old John- 
street church record as receiving "quarterage." 11 She lived 

7 Life of Abott, p. 177. 8 Bangs' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 192. 

9 Letter of the Rev. G. W Lybrand to the author. 

10 See Lednum— "Rise of Methodism," p. 324. u "Lost Chapters," p. 326. 

88 Old Sands Street Church. 

a consistent life, and died in the faith four years after the death 
of her husband. 

Robert and Rachel Cloud were the parents of five sons and 
one daughter. Their names were Jesse, Caleb, Wesley, Enoch, 
Robert, Israel, and Mary. The extreme difficulty of maintain- 
ing so large a family on the pittance which the Methodist 
preacher in those days received, is sufficient to account for the 
frequent repetition of the words " under a location " in the 
pastoral record of Mr. Cloud. 

Of the six children the Rev. Dr. Caleb IV. Cloud seems to 
have been the most noted. He entered the Methodist itinerancy 
in 1804, and his appointments were in Ohio, Mississippi, Ten- 
nessee, and Kentucky. He possessed, and possibly inherited 
from his father, a restless disposition. He located while in 
Kentucky, in 181 1, and entered upon the practice of medicine 
in Lexington. In 1820 he withdrew from the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, and established in Lexington an independent 
Methodist church, which never gained much influence, and 
gradually dwindled away. On good authority it is stated that 
" Dr. Cloud was somewhat addicted to drink in those days; " ia 
and that after he had become blind he returned to the (by that 
time) Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and " died in peace " 
May 14, 1850. 13 

12 Letter of Hiram Shaw, Esq., to the author. 

13 See Redford's "Methodism in Kentucky," vol. ii, p. 56. 


hen the Rev. John Merrick was pastor in New 
York and Brooklyn he was known throughout 
the land as an eloquent and popular champion of 
the doctrines and usages of Methodism. If his name is now 
an unfamiliar one in the church, it is because he located, and 
no memorial of his life and character appeared in the Con- 
ference Minutes. It is cause for profound regret that only 
a mere fragment of the history of this man can now be ob- 

He was oorn in the year 1759. The place of his nativity 
is not known. The following communication from the Rev. 
Jacob P Fort establishes the strong probability that this 
John Merrick was a soldier in the Revolution. He says: 

I had the curiosity to turn to the Record cf Names of Officers and Privates 
of the Revolutionary Army from New Jersey, and my discovery was such that 
I concluded to write you again. I found what I am inclined to believe is the 
name of our veritable John Merrick. I may be too sanguine about it, but it 
looks to me like a real discovery. The name is spelled as we spell it. The 
record fixes his residence at the time of enlistment in Middlesex County, N. J. 
He was in the 4th Battalion of what was called the 2nd Establishment of Mil- 
itary Order, under Captain Wra. Bond, (an old Trenton name,) and this Captain 
Bond was the 4th captain, and Thomas Morrell was the 1st captain of the said 
4th Battalion. Captain Morrell, as is well known, was in the battles of the 
Revolution as late as October 4, 1777, (Germantown,) and if this John Merrick 
was our Merrick, he was at that time in his eighteenth or nineteenth year. As 
Middlesex County runs up near Elizabethtown, Morrell's residence, it would 
f-x Morrell and Merrick in the same neighborhood. They joined conference 
the same year, were ordained the same year, and traveled the same circuit for 
one term. 

If our preacher, John Merrick, is proved to have been a patriot soldier 
withal, like the fighting Morrell, who carried the wounds he received to his 
grave, we may feci the more proud of his spiritual contests on the battle field 
for Christ.' 

1 Letter to the author. 

oo Old Sands Street Church. 

Merrick began to preach as an itinerant in 1786. The pub- 
lished Minutes furnish us with his 

PASTORAL RECORD: 1786, Somerset dr., Md., with James Rig- 
gin; 1787, Kent cir., with Ira Ellis; 1788, ordained deacon, — Trenton 
cir., N. J., with Thomas Morrell and Jethro Johnson ; 1789, New York, 
including Brooklyn, four months — Robert Cloud and Wm. Phcebus were to 
follow him, each for the same length of time ; 1790, ordained elder, — Bur- 
lington cir., N. J , with James Bell; 1791-1794, presiding elder — district 
including nearly all of New Jersey; 1795, ditto, with the addition of portions 
of Pa. and Del. and Canada; 1796, no appointment named; 1797, located. 

There is no evidence that John Merrick ever married. 
Wakeley heard those who knew affirm that Merrick was a re- 
markably eloquent preacher. There are persons now living 
who remember often hearing the fathers speak of his wonderful 
power in the pulpit. He has been likened to Charles Pit- 
man in the style and force of his oratory. 

Few men, even in his day,ever traveled so large apresiding eld- 
er's district as his, reaching from the Delaware Bay to the north- 
ern shore of Lake Ontario. We are indebted to the Rev. J. P. Fort 
for the following facts in relation to this extraordinary man : 

Peter Vannest, who was presiding elder a few years after him on part of 
the same district, frequently related that at the conference, when he asked 
for a location, Bishop Asbury gave him a peculiar but significant look, and 
then replied, with great impressiveness : "John Merrick, if you locate you will 
either backslide or die before one year." This language, said Vannest, 
startled the conference. He did not backslide, but he died before the year 
closed. lie died of fever near Hornerstown and was buried in the rear or 
east end, close up to the building of the old Methodist Episcopal church, 
New Mills, (now Pemberton,) N. J. 

The church at New Mills was erected in 1775; rebuilt in 1833. While the 
workmen were digging for the basement, a few of the bones of Merrick's body 
that remained were reached. They were carefully collected by the writer, a 
deeper grave on the same spot was digged, and they were laid away again, 
thirty-five years after their first interment. On an old-formed marble tablet 
in the rear of the new church, Pemberton, N. J , is the following epitaph : 

In Memory of 
Who Died July 30, 1798, 
Aged 39 Years. 
Ye who survey with anxious eye 
This tomb where Merrick's ashes lie; 
His worth through various life attend, 
His virtues learn, and mourn his end. 2 

The Christian Advocate, New York, Au^. 12, 1880. 

Record of Ministers. o r 

The same writer adds, in a letter to the author : 

My father, the Rev. Andrew Fort, born February i8, 1787, was in his 
twelfth year when Merrick died, and he remembered his funeral. The pro- 
cession, he said, reached over a mile, and the excitement among the people 
was intense. The whole country for miles around was aroused, and every- 
body seemed to be there. This I remember hearing forty years ago. 

Diligent search has been made in vain for additional infor- 
mation ; also for a copy of his portrait and autograph signa- 

Contemporary with the subject of this sketch was another 
Methodist preacher of the same name, in New England, who 
married a sister of the Rev. Enoch Mudge, but the two should 
not be confounded. 



he Rev. Dr. William Phcebus labored in Brook- 
lyn and vicinity for a longer period than most 
of the early itinerants, and for many years through- 
out this region, his name was a household word. 

He was born August 4, 1754, in Somerset Co., Md., where 
his ancestors settled in 1675. The Phcebus family was orig- 
inally attached to the Church of England. 1 

The Conference Minutes say; "Of his early days little is 
known, nor is the period of his conversion ascertained." 
When he joined conference, he had reached his twenty-ninth 
year. The story of his extended ministerial life is briefly 
set forth in the following 

PASTORAL RECORD: 1783, Frederick dr., Md., with J. Pigman; 
1784, East Jersey cir., with S. Dudley; 1785, West Jersey cir., with Thos. 
Ware and Robt. Sparks; 1786, not named in the appointments; 1787, (ordained 
deacon,) Redstone cir. , Pa. and Va. , with J. Wilson and E. Phelps; 17S8, 
Rockingham cir., Va., with James Rig-gin; 1789, New York city and Brook- 
lyn, with Robert Cloud and John Merrick — each four months, and Jacob 
Brush several months, 2 — also, Long Island cir., with John Lee; I79°> ordained 
elder, appointed to New Rochelle cir., with M. Swaim and Jacob Brush, but 
continued to preach on Long Island with D. Kendall and A. Hunt; 3 1791, 
L. I. cir,, with B. Abbott; 1792-1793, local; 1794, supernumerary, New York 
and Brooklyn with Ezekiel Cooper, L. M'Combs, J. Brush, sup'y, and P. 
Kendall, sup'y; 1795, no appointment; 1796-1797, Brooklyn station, exchang- 
ing systematically with the Long Island preachers; 1798-1805, local; 1806-1807, 
New York Conf., Albany; 1808, South Carolina Conf., Charleston, with Joh ; 
M'Veau; 1809, New York Conf. , Long Island cir. , with Erancis Ward and 
Henry Redstone; 18 10, Troy; 4 181 1, New York, with N Bangs, Laban 
Clark, Wm. Blagborne, Jas. M. Smith, P. P. Sandford; 1812, ditto, with Jo- 
seph Crawford, Laban Clark, Phineas Cook; 18 13, New Rochelle cir., with W 

1 Rev. Geo .A. Thcebus, D. D. — Letter to the author. 

2 "Lost Chapters," p. 367. 3 See sketch of Aaron Hunt in this book. 

4 Here he found no prospect of an adequate support, and he left the charge 
b/y the consent of the presiding elder. 



Record of Ministers. g^ 

Thacher and O. Sykes ; 1814, New York, with S. Cochran, N. Emery, M. 
Richardson, T Drummond, and Wm. Blagborne; 1815, ditto, with Win. 
Thacher, E. Washburn, M. Richardson, and A. Scholefield; 1816, Albany; 
1817, Jamaica cir., L. I., with John M. Smith; 1818, New York, " Zion 
and Asbury;" 1819-1820, missionary; 1821, sup'y without appoint- 
ment; 1822, Schenectady, N. Y. ; 1823, no station; 1824-1831, superan- 

From the foregoing record it appears that he was frequently 
re-appointed to the same circuit or station. As an associate of 
Dickins, Ware, Asbury, Garrettson, and others in the Christmas 
Conference of 1784, he was one of the men who organized the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. He represented the South Caro- 
lina Conference in the General Conference of 1808, and was a 
member of the "Committee of Fourteen " appointed to devise 
and report a plan for a Delegated General Conference. He was 
elected a delegate to the New York Conference in 1812 and 1816. 

When on the Long Island circuit, in 1791, as colleague of 
Benjamin Abbott, the worldly people in Rockaway expressed 
their notion of the difference between the two men by saying 
that "Abbott raised the devil, but Phoebus laid him again." 5 
It was during this year that he was married to a Miss Anderson, 
and the next year he thought himself justified in locating in 
order "to provide for himself and his household." 6 He main- 
tained a successful practice in New York as a physician when 
not actively engaged in ministerial work. While supernumerary, 
in 1794, he laid the corner-stone of the original Sands-street 
church, in Brooklyn. Shortly after this ( 1 796.) he began to edit 
The Experienced Christian s Magazine. One of the most im- 
portant of his literary works was a Life of Bishop Whatcoat* He 
preached frequently in New York during the years of his loca- 

Dr. Phoebus departed this life in peace November 3, 1831, 
in the seventy-seventh year of his age. His remains were de- 
posited in a burial ground in First-street, New York, 7 but were 
removed about the year 1855 to the " Asbury Removal Grounds " 
in Cypress Hills Cemetery, L. I. His grave is marked by a 
head-stone. The memorial adopted by his Conference says: 

He was a man of great integrity, uniformly pious, deeply learned in the 
Scriptures, and a sound, experimental, and practical preacher. 8 

5 Life of Abbott, p. 187. 6 Bangs' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 128. 
1 Wakeley— "Lost Chapters," p. 327. 
8 Minutes of Conferences, 1832. p. 162. 

94 Old Sands Street Church. 

The character of his discourses may be inferred from the fol- 
lowing description of a sermon preached by him at a camp-meet- 
ing in Cow Harbor, L. I., in 1817. The account was given by 
the Rev. Dr. Fitch Reed, nearly fifty years after the event : 

At this meeting Dr. Phoebus preached a sermon which at this distance I re- 
member with greater distinctness and particularity than almost any sermon I 
ever heard. His theme was suggested by the account of Mary anointing the 
feet of Jesus, as narrated in the twelfth chapter of John. His propositions 
were: The Act of a Women ; The Censure of a Traitor; The Decision of a 
Judge. The woman symbolized the Church in acts of piety for the honor and 
spread of the gospel ; Judas was the representative of all who either openly 
or covertly oppose the Church ; and the reply of Jesus sets forth the true esti- 
mate both of the Church and its opposers. and of the ultimate finding and open 
decision of the infinite Judge in the great day. The illustrations and appli- 
cation of this sermon were of thrilling interest, and produced a most decided 
effect. 9 

Although an able preacher, he was not especially popular 
with the masses, and alluding to the habit of those who left the 
church when they saw him in the pulpit, and started off to 
hear their favorite preacher, he said, in a pleasant way, that 
" when he preached there was generally a moving time.' 1 '' 10 On one 
occasion he preached in the place of Summerfield, who was sick. 
When asked how he could supply the place of so popular a man 
he dryly and pleasantly remarked : "Don't you see that the 
Summer-fields cannot flourish without the rays of Phoebus ? " " 

During the session of the New York Conference of 1823, Dr. 
Phoebus preached the sermon on the occasion of the ordination 
of elders on Sunday afternoon, from the words of our Lord, ''I 
am the door." George Coles, who heard the sermon, writes: 

I thought his preaching was too metaphysical to be remembered ; but in the 
course of his sermon he showed the importance of personal piety in a minister 
in a very striking and solemn manner. 12 

William Phoebus belongs to that noted company of eccentric 
but truly godly Methodist preachers, whose singular words and 
ways can never be forgotten. He was sociable or taciturn, as his 
moods might chance to be. He had great veneration for antiq- 
uity, and perhaps paid undue deference to the views and opin- 
ions of the old divines. He was not favorable to the office of 

9 "Reminiscences," in the Northern Christian Advocate, 1863. 

10 " Lost Chapters," p. 328. 

11 Ibid., p. 329. 

12 <« m v Fi rs t Seven Years in America," p. 263. 

Record of Ministers. 95 

presiding elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 13 The fol- 
lowing portraiture is copied from the writings of an intimate 
friend : 

Dr. Phoebus had acquired a large stock of useful information, but lacked 
that systematic arrangement of knowledge which we expect in a mind that has 
had an early and classical training. * * * He had great independence of 
mind, * * * great contempt for every thing designed merely for show, 

* * * and a deep insight into human nature. He was much given to 
enigmatical expression, which the mass of his hearers did not comprehend. 

* * * His character was, on the whole, one of varied excellence and un- 
common power, while yet he appeared like a different man under the exhibi- 
tion of its different qualities. Dr. Phoebus was of medium height, compactly 
built, and had a countenance decidedly intellectual, and expressive of great 
sincerity. 14 

The accompanying portrait will aid the reader in forming an 
estimate of the sturdy nobleness of this great and good man. 

Concerning his wife and children, almost nothing has been 
definitely ascertained. Ann I'hcebus, (probably his wife,) and 
Abdiel Asbury Phoebus, (presumably his son,) are buried in the 
same grave with him. One of his brothers was grandfather of 
the Rev. George A. Phoebus, D.D., of the Wilmington Confer- 

13 Bangs' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv., p. 128. 

14 Dr. N. Bangs in Sprague's Annals, vol. vii, p. 88. 


-t* • 

ust before the Brooklyn society was annexed to 
the Long Island circuit, the Rev Jacob Brush. 
having come from Delaware, was employed as a 
preacher in New York, and he doubtless assumed his share 
of the pastoral charge in Brooklyn. Two years later he had 
supervision of the district. He was the first, and until 1872, 
the only native of Long Island assigned to the presiding 
elder's office in that section. 

In what part of Long Island he was born has not been def- 
initely ascertained. 1 Very little is known concerning him 
previous to the appearance of his name in the Conference 
Minutes We trace him from year to year by the following 

APPOINTMENTS: 1785, 2 Trenton dr., N. J., with Robert Cloud and 
John M'Claskey; 1786, West Jersey cir. , with John Simmons and J. Lurton; 
1787, Dover cir., Del., with A. Hutchinson; 1788, ordained deacon , Northamp- 
ton cir. , Md. , with L. Ross; 1789, Dover and Duck Cieek cir., Del. and Pa. 
A part of the winter and spring- previous to the N. V Conf. of 170,0, he was in 
New England, with Jesse Lee, Ceorge Roberts and Daniel Smith; 1 ' and 
the same year he labored some time in NewYork and probably Brooklyn, 
with Thos. Morrell and Rob't Cloud; 4 1790, October, New Rochelle cir. ,N. Y. 5 

1 The Rev. Z. Davenport, who knew some of his relatives, said to the author 
that he was well-nigh assured that the birth place of Mr. Brush was in the vi- 
cinity of Merrick, L. I. 

2 Stevens (Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 436,) makes the date 1783; doubt- 
less a typographical error. 

3 Stevens — Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 435. 

4 "Lost Chapters," pp. 367, 368. 

5 Aaron Hunt, quoted by Stevens, (History M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 221,) 
gives the impression that Mr. Brush was presiding elder of New York District 
at this time. He was Hunt's pastor in 1790, and his presiding elder in 1792. 

Record of Ministers. gy 

with M. Swaim, and the Minutes say Wm. Phoebus, but Phoebus was, some 
part at least of that year, on Long Island cir. ; 1791, returned to New 
Rochelle cir., with T. Everard and T. Lovelle; 1792, presiding elder 
for L. I. and other parts of N. Y. and Western Conn., a district embracing 
nearly the same territory now included in the N. Y. EastConf.; 1793, "elder" 
of a district embracing parts of N. J. and N. Y., including Long Island ; 6 
1794, sup'y, New York and Brooklyn, with E. Cooper, L. M'Combs, W 
Phoebus, sup'y, and D. Kendall, sup'y. 

His coming north was like the advent of an angel from 
heaven. He found Thomas Morrell and the other New York 
preachers worn out in revival work, and taking his place by 
their side as a fellow-laborer, saw four hundred added to the 
roll of the converts in eight weeks. He then passed on with 
George Roberts and Daniel Smith to re-enforce Jesse Lee at 
Dantown in New England. "No one knows," says Lee, "but 
God and myself what comfort and joy I felt at their arrival." 
That was genuine pioneer work. Brush was the only ordained 
elder among the four preachers, and the members in New 
England were not more than two for each preacher. He soon 
returned to New York. 

Through his influence Aaron Hunt was led to enter the min- 
istry. In recording this fact, Stevens, by a lapsus pennce, erro- 
neously quotes Aaron Hunt as saying that Jacob Brush was an 
"old man." 7 

In his thirty-fourth year he fell a victim to the yellow fever, 
in the city of New York, on the 24th of September, 1795. In 
his conference memorial his brethren state that he died in 
peace ; that when the power of speech was gone he indicated 
by a pressure of the hand that all was well. They also record 
their apprecation of him as " an active man of God, a great 
friend to order and union." 8 

Wakeley says he was engaged to be married to an amiable 
young woman, a daughter of a Methodist preacher, but death 
prevented their union. 9 His remains were laid to rest in the 
burial ground in the rear of the Forsyth-street church, New 
York, where his tombstone may be found. Lines of no great 

6 Stevens errs in saying that this district was wholly in New York. Com- 
pare Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 437, and Conf. Minutes, 1793, P- 5*- 

7 Compare Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 221, and "Lost Chap- 
ters," p. 369. See, also, Conf. Minutes, 1796, p. 66. 

"Minutes, 1796, p. 66. 

9 " Lost Chapters," p. 369. 

98 Old Sands Street Church. 

literary merit, but expressive of the general and profound sor- 
row occasioned by his death, were published a few months after 
the event. 10 

Jacob Brush was a burning and a shining light in the church. 
When compelled, by a chronic inflammation of the throat, to 
take a supernumerary relation, he had traveled eight years suc- 
cessively Few men in his or any generation were more con- 
stantly or successfully devoted to the work of the Christian 

The Rev. W D. Thompson, of the New York East Confer- 
ence, has in his possession a valuable memento of this pioneer 
preacher — a copy of Lord King's " Plain Account of the Consti- 
tution of the Christian Church in the First Three Centuries." 
It was owned by Mr. Brush and contains his signature. The 
volume was presented to Mr. Thompson by the late Rev. Z. 

10 " Experienced Christian's Magazine," Wm. Phoebus, editor, 1796, p. 89. 
See the same in " Lost Chapters," p. 370. 


mong the pastors of the Sands-street church there 
is perhaps not another whose history so complete- 
ly eludes the search of the biographer, as that of 
the Rev David Kendall. Personal correspondence and in- 
quiries published in The Christian Advocate and in Zion's 
Herald have failed to call forth the least word of testimony 
concerning this good and useful minister of Christ. 

In 1790, he succeeded John Lee as the colleague of Wm. 
Phoebus on Long Island. His name alone is set down for 
Long Island circuit in the printed Conference Minutes; but 
from Aaron Hunt's journal we infer that Phcebus was as- 
signed to the circuit with Kendall. Hunt was there also 
during Kendall's sickness. From the Minutes we obtain a 
chronological list of his 

APPOINTMENTS: 1788, New City cir., N. Y., with S. Q. Talbot; 
1789, Lake Champlain cir., with Wm. Losee; 1790, ordained deacon — 
Long Island cir., with Wm. Phcebus, and A. Hunt; 1791, Saratoga cir. ; 1792, 
Pittsfield cir. , Mass., with R. Dillon and J. Rexford; 1793, ordained elder,— 
Greenwich cir., R. I., with E. Mudge; 1794, sup'y, New York and Brooklyn, 
with E. Cooper, L. M'Combs, W. Phoebus and J. Brush; 1795, "located 
through weakness," etc. 

Stevens , writing concerning him and Losee, and the 
Champlain circuit in 1789, — then the northernmost outpost 
of Methodism on the continent — says: 

Their journeys brought them within sight of Canada. The circuit seems 
not, however, to have been successful, for in 1790 it was abandoned. 1 

It can but be inferred from the important character of his 
appointments that he was a man of respectable talent and 
good standing in the connection, yet most of his history has 
passed into oblivion. His work abides in the hearts and lives, 
as well as in the thoughts of many who never heard his 

Though they may forget the singer, 
They will not forget the song. 

1 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 392. 


he Rev. Aaron Hunt was born in East Chester, 
Westchester County, N. Y., March 28, 1768. The 
war of the Revolution transpired during his boy- 
hood, and he was shocked by the "scenes of horror and suf- 
fering" which he witnessed. Although surrounded in youth 
by wicked associates, he was preserved, to a large extent, 
from their corrupting influence. When seventeen years of 
age he took up his residence in New York city, and attended 
the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

After two years had elapsed, while passing old John Street 
Church one evening, in company with a fellow clerk, their 
attention was arrested by the earnest tones of the preacher. 
They went in and heard a part of the sermon. His comrade 
reviled, but he was favorably impressed, and continuing to 
attend the services, he was, on the 18th of March, 1789, while 
in his twenty-first year, brought to a saving knowledge of 
Christ. He wrote in his journal the following vivid account 
of his conversion: 

While my heart sank within me, I ventured out of self and all self-depend- 
ence. Heaven seemed to stoop and pity the sinner in distress. My burden was 
removed, and all was light; I clasped my hands, and walked, and said, "Glory, 
glory to God!" 

He immediately began to lead others to Christ. His burn- 
ing zeal constrained him to establish family prayer in the 
home of an older brother with whom he was boarding. The 
cross was very great. He took a candle and started for his 
room, but replaced it, saying, "May I pray?" When he rose 
from his knees after an earnest prayer, his sister-in-law sneer- 
ingly said, "Aaron has been to the Methodist meetings, and 
wants to show us how well he has learned to pray." But his 



Record of Ministers. IOI 

brother in penitence accompanied him to the meetings, and 
was converted. Thenceforward Moses and Aaron were united 
heart and hand in the service of Christ. About this time, in a 
prayer-meeting, he first met Benjamin Abbott. When he heard 
that wonderful man give out and sing the hymn, 

" Refining fire, go through my heart," 

he and nearly all others present were seized with " an awful 
trembling," and he " agonized for a clean heart." Having re- 
turned from New York to his native town, he was socn made 
leader of a class. With his conversion came a conscious call 
to the ministry. He preached his first sermon near his 
home, on the New Rochelle circuit in 1790, from Rom. xiii, 12 : 
" The night is far spent," etc. ; and in the latter part of the 
same conference year, (January, 1791,) encouraged by his friend 
and pastor, Jacob Brush, 1 he went to serve as a supply on Long 
Island circuit, which then included Brooklyn, and extended 
eastward to the farthest outposts of Methodism in Suffolk 
county. He was young and inexperienced, but in his journal 
he writes : 

As I went round the circuit, I found the people not only willing to bear 
with my weakness, but apparently glad to hear me. I saw fruits of my en- 
deavors, and enjoyed many gracious seasons. 

Thus began an extended and useful ministry, which is briefly 
sketched in the following 

PASTORAL RECORD : 1790, last part of this conference year, sup- 
ply on L. I. cir., N. Y., with W Phcebus and D. Kendall; 1791, (joined 
the itinerancy,) Fairfield cir., Conn., with N. B. Mills ; 1792, Middletown cir., 
with R. Swain; 1793, ordained deacon — Fairfield cir., with J. Coleman; 1704- 
1799, local; 1S00, (N. Y. Conf., re-admitted,) ordained elder, — Litchfield cir., 
Conn., with E. Batchelor; 1801, no appointment, by request; 1803, New Lon- 
don cir., with M. Coate; 1804, New Rochelle cir., with Wm. Thacher; 1805- 
1806, New York city cir., with F Garrettson, N. Snethen. and John Wilson; 

1806, ditto, with T. Bishop, S. Crowell, F Garrettson, and John Wilson; 

1807, Litchfield cir., Conn., with J. Lyon; 1808-1810, presiding elder, Rhine- 
beck Dist.; 1811, Redding cir., Conn., with O. Sykes and J. Reynolds; 1812, 
Middletown cir., with A. Scholefield; 1813, Redding cir., with H. Eames; 
1814, Croton cir., N. Y., with Eben Smith; 1815, ditto, with E. Canfield; 
1816, Stamford cir., Conn., with Theod. Clark; 1817, Bridgeport cir., with F 

'See Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 221, where Hunt is quoted 
as saying that Jacob Brush was his presiding elder. I find no other evidence 
that Brush had charge of the district that year, or that he was presiding elder 
until 1792. 


Old Sands Street Church. 

Garrettson — sup'y. ; 1818, Courtlandt cir., N. Y., with B. Northrop; 1819, 
New York, with S. Merwin, Laban Clark, B. Hibbard, T. Spicer, and N. 
Morris; 1820, ditto, with J. Soule, B. Hibbard, T. Spicer, and E. Hebard ; 
1821, Redding cir., Conn,, with Laban Clark; 1822, ditto, with S. Coch- 
ran; 1823, sup'y, Danbury cir.; 1824, Redding and Bridgeport cir., with M. 
Richardson, H. Humphreys, and F. W. Sizer; 1826, sup'y, ditto, with M. 
Richardson, H. Humphreys, and O. Sykes, sup'y; 1827-1839, sup'y, Amenia 
cir., N. V., — his colleagues were Wm. Jewett, J. C. Bontecou, A. S. Hill, F. 
Reed, Lorin Clark, S. Cochran, F. Donnelly, S. U. Fisher, E. Washburn, R. 
Wymond, D. G. Sutton, D. Holmes, J. P. Ellsworth, G. L. Fuller, B. Sil- 
leck, D. Keeler, and W. K. Stopford; 1840-1857, superannuated. 

This record covers the long period of sixty-eight years, but 
shows that he was on the effective list less than half of that time. A 
small farm in Redding, Conn., having fallen to him by inheritance, 
it became, for the most part, the permanent home of his family; 
but during each of the twenty-seven years when he was appointed 
to a charge, he devoted himself faithfully to his ministerial work, 
submitting ofttimes to long and trying absence from home — his 
receipts sometimes not exceeding twenty dollars a year. 

His location in 1794 was not intended to be permanent. He 
preached statedly on the Sabbath, and sometimes during the 
week, and when his health and his business permitted him to 
resume regular pastoral work, he declined favorable opportuni- 
ties to enter the ministry of another denomination, and returned 
to the itinerant ranks. Right nobly he endured the hardships 
and fought the battles that fell to the lot of the pioneer Meth- 
odist preacher. 

In 1792 he preached the first Methodist sermon in Danbury, 
Conn. The meeting was held in the court-house. No one 
spoke to him, and he put up at a tavern, at his own expense. 
That was a common experience. But he soon saw a society 
organized there, and a little chapel erected, toward which he 
contributed one hundred dollars, taking the deed in his own 
name, and conveying the property to the trustees, "according 
to the Discipline." The watch-word of his ministry appears to 
have been, " According to Discipline ! " 

During the following year, while on the Middletown circuit, 
he was sent forward to plant the standard of our denomination 
where no Methodist preacher's voice had been heard. His 
journal says : 

In May, 1793, my presiding elder directed me to go across the Connecti- 
cut River, and "break up new ground," as he expressed it. This was veiy 

Record of Ministers. IO ~ 

trying, but to obey them that had the rule over me was my determination. I 
again renewed my covenant with the Lord and set forward, and traveled 
through the counties of New London and Windham, making a small excur- 
sion into the State of Massachusetts. An itinerant preacher was a new thin? 
in those lands. Some inquired whether I was sent by the president, or by 
Congress, or by what authority. 

In 1793 he was married to Miss Eunice Sanford. She died 
in 1805, leaving him sorely bereaved. 

Mr. Hunt was the originator of the motion to adopt the two- 
years rule in the itinerancy — a law enacted by the General Con- 
ference in 1804. It is well known that previous to that date 
there was no specified limit to the pastoral term. It was not 
uncommon to change preachers even oftener than every year, 
while some remained longer than two or three years. Concern- 
ing the circumstances which led to the adoption of the two- 
years rule Mr. Hunt writes as follows : 

Soon after the commencement of the present century, two or three cases 
occurred that gave the bishop great annoyance. Some preachers, finding them- 
selves in pleasant stations, and by the aid of self-constituted committees — be- 
lieving, of course, that they could do better in the place than any one else — 
objected to removal, while the more pious part of the society would have pre- 
ferred a change; but the officious committee prevailed. 2 

One case to which he specifically alludes was that of the Rev. 
Cyrus Stebbins. He had been pastor of Albany City station 
four years, (1 800-1 803,) many of the leading members having 
wished him to remain, while many of the more humble desired 
a change. Asbury felt that it would be for the general good to 
remove him, but, finding that he could not do so without causing 
a rupture, he was greatly perplexed as to what course to pursue. 
He spoke to his son, Aaron, as he always called him, concerning 
this case, and what followed is thus narrated by Mr. Hunt : 


In conversation with the bishop, I suggested the two-years rule, to which 
he pleasantly replied : "So, then, you would restrict the appointing power?" 
" Nay, sir," was the reply, " we would aid its execution, for in the present case 
it seems to be deficient." His laconic reply of " So, so," encouraged me, at the 
ensuing General Conference of 1804, to present the resolution signed by my- 
self, and seconded by the Rev. Joseph Totten, of the Philadelphia Conference. 
When it was read by the secretary, one observed that such a rule would limit 
the Episcopacy ; another, that it would tacitly station for two years. Of course 
it was laid on the table. It was talked over out of doors, and scanned in all 
its bearings by the firesides, and when called up again [by George Dougherty,] 
it passed after some discussion by a very general vote. 

The Christian Advocate and Journal, March 6, 1 85 1. 

104 Old Sands Street Church. 

During his first term as preacher in charge of New York city- 
circuit, he introduced the custom of inviting penitents in our 
churches to come forward and kneel at the altar. His own 
written statement of the matter is as follows : 

In September, 1806, I appointed a prayer-meeting, particularly for those 
who had been at the camp-meeting [at Cow Harbor, I.. I.J Many attended 
in the church in Second -street, [better known as Forsyth- street church.] It 
was a time of great power. Many wept, and cried aloud for mercy. Soon 
the cry of mourners became general throughout the church, and many prayers 
were put up in their behalf. It was in this revival needful to regulate our 
prayer-meetings by calling the mourners to the altar, and inviting the praying 
brethren into the altar. 

It is stated by those who were personally acquainted with 
Methodist usages in those days that penitent persons were ex- 
pected to kneel down in whatever part of the house they hap- 
pened to be. The Christians present would then gather around 
them and pray. Thus several little prayer-meetings were held 
at the same time in various parts of the congregation. Mr. Hunt, 
as preacher in charge, was not willing that this disorderly cus- 
tom should any longer prevail. About that time he received a 
letter from his friend and former colleague, the Rev. Nicholas 
Snethen, describing the custom which had just been adopted at 
the camp-meetings in the South, of inclosing a space in front of 
the stand, called an altar, where mourners and those who were 
considered capable of instructing them and praying with them, 
were invited to meet apart from the great congregation. After 
much consideration and prayer, he determined upon adopting a 
similar course in the church, and at the "second camp-meeting 
prayer-meeting " he invited all who were seeking the Saviour to 
come forward and kneel at the altar, but not one person complied 
with the request. The three preachers met the next day in con- 
sultation, Mr. Hunt assigned as his reason for proposing to in- 
troduce the altar service, that the confusion of previous meet- 
ings would thereby be avoided, and the name, residence, and 
spiritual condition of each convert and seeker could be ascer- 
tained, making it possible to watch over them more success- 
fully. Truman Bishop, one of the colleagues, concurred, but 
Seth Crovvell, the other preacher, put in a stern remonstrance, 
and in the evening took a back seat to watch the result of what 
he considered an interference with God's order, and a steadying 
of the ark. But the penitents, having reflected on the propriety 

Record of Ministers. 105 

of gathering about the altar, pressed forward as soon as the invita- 
tion was given, filling the entire kneeling place about the altar 
rail, and several of the front seats. Many of these rejoiced in the 
pardon of their sins, and Mr. Crowell, witnessing the happy result, 
discontinued his opposition, and joined zealously in the work. 

From this experiment the custom soon came to be generally 
adopted in the Methodist revival services throughout the land. 
In later years Mr. Hunt expressed concern lest the usage might 
degenerate into a form in which some might trust rather than in 
the Saviour, and of which others might take advantage in hy- 
pocrisy to impose upon the Church. 

Aaron Hunt was at first very strongly opposed to the presid- 
ing elder's office, but his experience in his large district con- 
vinced him of the necessity of some sort of supervision. His 
appointment to the district was much against his desire. He 
says : 

Bishop A>bury knew well my objections to the office of presiding elder. 
At our Annual Conference in Amenia, in 1808, all things progressed pleasantly 
to the reading of the appointments, when my name was reserved to the last. 
Then came out, "Aaron Hunt for Rhinebeck District." Instantly I rose to 
my feet requesting to be heard. The reply was, " No time to be heard now 
— let us pray ; " and such a prayer us Asbury only could offer, followed by a 
score of loud " aniens," almost stunned me. I was somewhat offended at the 
strange movement, but Asbury came along, and said, " Come, Aaron, I am 
going home with you." This in some degree softened my feelings, and led 
me to conclude that perhaps he had some reasons for making the appointment 
that I did not see. 

The trouble among New York Methodists, resulting in the 
Stilwell secession, occurred during his administration. A cir- 
cumstantial history of these events, written by Mr. Hunt, ap- 
peared in "The Christian Advocate and Journal," and the fol- 
lowing extracts will enable the reader to form an estimate of his 
rigid adherence to the Discipline of the Church. He writes : 

I was stationed in New York in 1819 and 1820, with the care of all our 
societies, then in the circuit form, consisting of six or seven churches. Our 
people had been in a state of turmoil for several years, which had for its pre- 
text the erection of the second John-street church, but, in fact, arose from a 
disposition in some " to have the pre-eminence." My predecessor in charge 
[Dr. Bangs] had labored in vain to restore harmony. Having been previ- 
ously in the station, I had some knowledge of persons and circumstances, and 
felt it a heavy trial to enter on so important a charge. Looking for divine 
direction, with the Bible and Discipline in my hand, I determined to follow 
peace with all men. 

106 Old Sands Street Church. 


By bringing some of the estranged parties together in the con- 
ducting of revival meetings, he succeeded in allaying the ill feel- 
ing to a large extent ; but how the strife was renewed and con- 
tinued is narrated as follows : 

Previous to the annual election of trustees, some restless spirits began to 
electioneer. By this course the Stilwellites (or up-town party) succeeded in 
getting a majority in the board of trustees. 

The board of trustees claimed the legal right to receive and 
control the moneys collected for the preachers. It had been cus- 
tomary in New York for the trustees to do all the business, but 
the new board refused to provide for the preachers, yet they pro- 
posed to receive the class money from the leaders, and when 
they paid it over to the stewards, who might be appointed, to 
take their receipts, and the amount the stewards would receive 
would depend on whether they would comply with that condi- 
tion. Having obtained the opinion of high legal authority that 
this claim of the trustees was not valid, Mr. Hunt had a board 
of stewards appointed, and called "a general leaders' meeting." 
He says : 

When convened, about seventy were present ; and after singing and prayer 
we proceeded to read the Discipline — stewards' duties and leaders' duties, ob- 
serving that, as Methodists, both preachers and people were under obligation 
to adhere to these rules. One leader said he did not care what the Discipline 
said — he would go according to law, for that was his plea. I said, " Brother, 
please give me your class-book." He gave it up. This gave a check to 
some of the warm heads. Brother Soule, [afterward bishop,] my right hand 
colleague, remarked, "That is right." 

Mr. Hunt and those who were with him perseveringly resisted 
the claim of the trustees to receipts for money paid over to the 
stewards, declaring the stewards to be amenable to the Quar- 
terly Conference and not to the trustees. Hunt's journal thus 
informs us what followed : 

The morning after the general leaders' meeting, two of the trustees, a num- 
ber of leaders, and private members to the number of thirty called on me for 
certificates of dismission from the Church. Under the circumstances I did 
not think it proper to give them certificates, but as they persisted in leaving, 
we wrote on the records against their names, " withdrawn." They poured 
upon us a torrent of misrepresentation and falsehood, making every eftort to 
draw off all they could, and finally they succeeded in obtaining about two 
hundred members and one hundred probationers. To me these were days 
and years of no ordinary toil and anxiety, which often deprived me of sleep, 
and wore upon my health. At the ensuing Annual Conference we [meaning 

Record of Ministers. 107 

himself and eolIe'agUes] suggested the propriety of a committee to investigate 
our proceedings ; but it was refused, the conference being satisfied with our 


In contending for their rights the early Methodist preachers 
found a brave champion in Aaron Hunt. George Roberts, 
when presiding elder, had been fined one hundred dollars by a 
court held in Middletown, for solemnizing a marriage ceremony 
in the State of Connecticut, but that did not frighten Mr. Hunt 
into employing the parish minister at his own wedding. He in- 
vited his presiding elder, Jacob Brush, to officiate, and when the 
elder hesitated on account of the law, he assured him that if he 
were brought to account, he would meet all the charges,* and 
pay all fines and costs. Subsequently, when legal proceedings 
for the same offense had been instituted against one of the 
preachers, Mr. Hunt appeared on his behalf, and made the law 
appear so odious that the suits were withdrawn. 

He represented his brethren in General Conference in 1804, 
1812, and 1816. About 1828 he sold his property in Redding, 
and purchased a small farm in the town of Sharon, Conn., near 
Amenia Union, N. Y. There he resided until his removal to 
Leedsville, N. Y., a few years before his death. He spent his 
last winter with his son, Zalmon S. Hunt, in Sharon. As death 
approached, his mind was clear, and he was often favored with 
seasons of great tenderness and rapture. He passed away on 
the 25th of April, 1858, past ninety years of age, and was buried in 
the ground which he had given for a Methodist cemetery, in 
Sharon, Conn. His grave is marked by a marble slab, appro- 
priately inscribed. 

For many years Aaron Hunt was recognized as " the patri- 
arch of the New York Conference." In their published memo- 
rial its members say : 

He was strongly attached to the Discipline of the Church, and watched 
with jealous anxiety any deviation from the old ways, but always indorsed 
those new measures that seemed likely to increase the spirituality and strength 
of the Church. He was plain and neat in appearance, and prompt in the dis- 
charge of his ministerial duties. 

Eunice Sanford, sister of the Rev. Aaron Sanford, Sen., 

was the first wife of Aaron Hunt. Their union was happy, but 

not long — from their marriage, in 1793, to her death, on the 6th 

io8 Old Sands Street Church. 

of February, 1805, she lived well and died in peace, com- 
mending her husband and her four little children to our heaven- 
ly Father's care. A head-stone marks her grave in Redding, 
Conn., where she had spent most of her life. 

Hannah Sanford, daughter of the elder Aaron Sanford, and 
sister to Hawley Sanford, was married to Aaron Hunt about 
two years after the death of his first wife. She was possessed 
of a very sweet Christian spirit, and chiefly through her instruc- 
tion and example all the children were converted in youth, and 
joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was in feeble 
health many years, and died September 18, T831, aged forty- 
eight years. Her body is buried beside her husband's. 

Nancy Thompson, a native of Goshen, Conn., whose parents 
were among the earliest converts to Methodism in New En- 
gland, became the third wife of Aaron Hunt, in 1832, and in his 
"age and feebleness extreme" her kind hands ministered to his 
wants. Her writings concerning him evince a remarkable af- 
fection and veneration for her husband. She was a superior 
woman — intelligent, pious, very zealous in Sunday-school work, 
a pioneer in the organization of "infant classes" in New En- 
gland, a contributor to the columns of the Sunday School 
Advocate and other periodicals. The tract entitled " Procras- 
tination ; or, an Echo from the Voice of the Dying," is from her 
pen. After the death of her husband she removed to Michigan, 
and subsequently to Leavenworth, Kansas, where, at the resi- 
dence of her nephew, she died in great peace, September 8, 
1867, aged seventy-eight years. She was actively engaged in 
organizing and conducting an infant class a few months previous 
to her death. Her remains were deposited near those of her 
sister, in the town of Schoolcraft, near Kalamazoo, Mich. The 
Rev. Dr. A. S. Hunt wrote a fitting memorial of her, which was 
published in The Christian Advocate. 

Children of Aaron Hunt by first marriage : Zalmon, died 
voting; Joseph, father of Andrew and Albert S. Hunt, Meth- 
odist preachers ; Aaron, more than forty years a member of the 
New York Conference; Phoebe, who married the Rev. A. S. 
Hill; William, who left no children. Children by second mar- 
riage : Sarah Ann, single ; Electa, married George W Ingraham, 
of Amenia, N. Y ; Zalmon, who resides at Amenia Union. 


mong "the most memorable men of early Method- 
ism" was the Rev Benjamin Abbott. His father 
and two brothers were natives of Long Island, but 
he was born in Pennsylvania, in 1732. This was years before 
Lee, or Garrettson, or Morrell, or (so far as known) any 
other native American Methodist preacher was born. His 
parents' names were Benjamin and Hannah. They died when 
he was quite young, and he "grew up in great wickedness, 
drinking, fighting, swearing and gambling." 

In his thirty-second year he dreamed an awful dream 
about hell, and from that time till he was forty years of age, 
he was troubled at intervals on account of his sins. He was 
then living in New Jersey His wife was a Presbyterian, but 
unconverted, and when they heard the gospel from the lips 
of Abraham Whitworth, a Methodist preacher, 1 they were 
brought into the light and united with the Methodists. Six 
of their children followed their example, and David, one of 
the sons, became an itinerant minister. 3 

Soon after his conversion he began to preach at Hell Neck 
and other God-forsaken places, and gathered around him his 
astonished comrades who had been the witnesses of his 
bloody fights and foul profanity 

He met with great opposition from the enemies of the 
truth. At Trenton a false alarm of fire was given to draw 
the people away from his meeting. He was surrounded by 

1 This man departed frcm the faith, and became a soldier in the British 
army, and was probably killed in battle. See Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, 
vol. i, p. 203. 

2 Life of Abbott, p. 113. 

no Old Sands Street Church. 

mobs, but he awed them by his courage, and preached in their 
presence with wondrous liberty and power, and many vile sin- 
ners were awakened and saved. 

He contended earnestly for the doctrines and usages of the 
Methodists, and complained that in one- place "the Baptist 
preacher, who afterward turned Universalist and then deist, 
stole away nine of our sheep, and ran them into the mill-pond." 3 

He was a flaming evangelist, going from place to place 
throughout that portion of New Jersey, seeking the salvation of 
souls. In 1788, during the last of the sixteen years of his ir- 
regular but efficient labors as a local preacher, he met with a 
severe affliction in the death of his faithful wife. The next year 
he joined conference, and the following is his 

ITINERANT RECORD: 1789, Dutchess cir., N. V., with S. Q. Tal- 
bot; 1790, ordained deacon, — Newburgh cir., with Joseph Lovell: I79I» 
Long Island cir., with Win. Phoebus ; 1792, Salem cir., N. J., with David 
Bartine ; 1793, ordained elder ; — 1793-1794, Cecil cir., Md., with Fred. Curp ; 
part of this time, as his manuscripts show, he was on Kent cir. ; 4 1795, health 
failed — not named in the Minutes. 

His labors orf Long Island, as well as on other circuits, are 
quite fully narrated in his published memoirs. They are almost 
without a parallel in "the rough energy, saintly devotion, and 
apostolic zeal" they display. Fearless, earnest, magnetic, he 
thrilled his audiences with rapture or terror, exercising an al- 
most superhuman power on large congregations of various 
degrees of culture, and he possessed this power in the absence 
of the ordinary amount of learning which the humbler class of 
ministers had acquired. One of his contemporaries writes : 

On a certain occasion, when exhorting before one of the bishops, among 
other expressions, he spoke of the " Seatic " ocean. The bishop, in much 
kindness, told him that he should have called it the Atlantic ocean, and cor- 
rected other blunders, and requested him to be more accurate in his language; 
all of which he took in good part, and expressed much gratitude to the bishop, 
together with a determination to follow up his counsel. But now for the 
sequel. The next day he was set to preach before the bishop ; he resolved to 
have his discourse as nice as possible, but he felt cramped and embarrassed, 
and saw that no interest was excited. At length he came to a pause and 
exclaimed : " If all the bishops on earth, and all the devils in hell were here, 
I must preach like Ben. Abbott." He then made a new start, and went 

3 Life, p. 66. * Ibid., p. 219. 

Record of Ministers. 


ahead with his usual style and energy, which was followed with a great move 
in the assembly and a shout of victory. 5 

Dr. Fitch Reed states that Abbott committed an amusing 
blunder once in preaching from the text, " Thou art an austere 

He read it "oyster man," and so went on in his preaching to compare the 
Lord in the work of converting sinners to a man catching oysters with what 
were known as oyster tongs, describing the well-known process with much pre- 
cision, and making the application as he went along. 6 

He probably spoke of the " oyster man," raking in the natural 
oyster beds, as gathering where he had not strewn, and we may 
imagine how the preacher could use this fact to teach his hearers 
that, while God never brought men into sin, he can and does 
lift them up out of it. 

His own account of a love-feast in New York, about the time 
he was appointed to Long Island, shows that his brethren were 
sometimes not a little tried with his loud and boisterous manner. 
He writes : 


We went into the city of New York, and the next day conference was 
opened. We went on very lovingly in the affairs of the Church from day to 
clay, until it came to the appointment of the love-feast ; then it was brought 
on the carpet by Bro. R. Cloud concerning the love-feast at our last con- 
ference. He said that I hallooed, and bawled, and cried "Fire! fire!" 
Brother G. [probably Garrettson] got up and seconded him, and opposed the 
work with aH the powers he had. Brother J. Lee said he was happy in the 
love-feast. The bishop said he did not want to hear them halloo, and shout, 
and bawl, but he wanted to hear them speak their experience. 7 

He adds, that when the love-feast came to be held, though 
there were several hundred present, the meeting was " dead," 
and the preachers, " in discoursing together, acknowledged that 
they had been wrong in what they had done and said on the 

" Abbott's thunder-gust sermon " was, perhaps, the most mem- 
orable discourse he ever preached. It was on a funeral oc- 
casion at the Kent meeting-house, Md., in the midst of the most 
awful thunder-storm ever known in that country. " The people 
crowded in/up stairs and down, to screen themselves from the 

5 Autobiography of Dan Young, p. 216. 

8 " Reminiscences" in Northern Christian Advocate, 1863. 

7 Life of Abbott, p. 177. 

1 1 2 Old Sands Street Churck. 

storm," and while the lightning glared, and the thunder crashed, 
and the windows rattled, he set forth the terrors of the iuo>- 
ment; and while the people quaked, and cried, and fell as dead 
men, he continued to preach, answering now and then to the 
voice of the storm — " My God, thunder on outside, while I 
thunder inside ! " " Many were convinced and many converted 
on that great day " 8 To the day of their death those who 
heard him did not cease to tell of the terrifying power which 
attended his words, when he made " the flesh quiver on their 
trembling bones." 9 

The following incident is related by the Rev. Isaac L. Hunt, 
of the Northern New York Conference, whose parents were well 
acquainted with Benjamin Abbott. About the time that Mr. 
Abbott preached on the Dutchess circuit, some of the oppo- 
nents of Methodist doctrines sent word to the preacher about the 
time of beginning the service in a school-house, that they would 
like to hear him preach from the text, " Jacob have I loved, and 
Esau have I hated." The Calvinists were out in force, intent 
on witnessing the embarrassment and discomfiture of the poor, 
ignorant itinerant. No allusion to the matter escaped the lips 
of the preacher until he knelt in prayer; then he told the Lord 
of this peculiar difficulty of his position, and prayed for help. 
" Help, Lord, help ! " he cried. " Send the power, power, 
POWER ! " he repeated, with thrilling, terrifying earnestness. 
" Send down the POWER, Lord ! Let the power fall ! Power, 
power, POWER ! " The deacons and elders began to tremble, 
and so did all who sympathized with them in their attempt to en- 
tangle the preacher ; and before the prayer was over they had 
all fled from the house, to escape that awful power which they 
felt that Abbott's wonderful prayer was bringing down upon 
them. The result was that when he rose to preach he felt quite 
relieved, because those who wanted a sermon from the Jacob- 
and-Esau text were not there. 

Though a man of great physical strength, he wore himself 
out in the service of God. His last year on earth was one of 
extreme suffering. He was graciously sustained, however, and 
died in triumph, clapping his hands, and exclaiming: " I see 
heaven sweetly opened before me! Glory! glory! glory!" 10 

8 See Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. i, p 402. 

9 Elegy in Phoebus' Magazine, 1796, p. 317. 10 Life of Abbott, p. 274. 

Record of Ministers. lx * 

His funeral sermon was preached, in accordance with his re- 
quest, by the eloquent John M'Claskey, who is said to have been 
his son in the Gospel. 11 His doctor's bill and funeral expenses 
amounting to £g js. 6d., were paid from the preachers' fund. 12 
In the year 183 1 the Rev. Dr. Noah Levings and Judge Gar- 
rison, of Brooklyn, visited his grave in the Walnut-street Meth- 
odist church-yard of Salem, N. J., where, up to that time, he 
had slept without a memorial. Only one man, an old negro, 
could point out the grave with certainty. 13 Dr. Levings assist- 
ed in erecting upon the spot a suitable monument, bearing the 
following inscription, piepared by Daniel Ostrander: 

Sacred to the memory of Benjamin Abbott, 23 years a member, 16 years a 
local preacher, and 7 years a traveling preacher in the M. E. Church. He 
died Aug. 14, 1796, aged 64 years. A holy, zealous, and useful man of God. 
O happv exit, etc. Erected by J. Garrison, Esq., and others, of Brooklyn, 
Kings County, N. Y. 

Mr. Abbott was one of the founders of Methodism in Salem, 
and for some time a resident of the place, hence it is fitting 
that his mortal remains should repose there. 

Search has been made in vain for likeness and autograph 
signature of this remarkable man. Mr. Ward, trustee of the 
original church in Salem, owned an old-style profile likeness 
of Benjamin Abbott. His son writes: 

Since my father's death my mother has moved, and she thinks the likeness 
of the good old man must have been lost or mislaid. She and my sister both 
remember the likeness, and describe it as a very well-cut silhouette, which 
was prized as gold by my father. 

I recently visited my father's grave, in the old South-street church-yard, the 
same burial ground in which rest the ashes of those honored ministers, Abbott, 
Ware, Crane, and Newell. .Ware was Abbott's intimate friend and co-laborer 
in the cause of the Master, and the other two remembered him well, and had 
heard him preach several times. I have heard James Newell and Moses 
Crane again and again speak of " Daddy Abbott." They described him as a 
man of great size and strength, with a voice like the roar of a lion. 14 

His wife was a Presbyterian and "a praying woman " at the 
time of his conversion, but, as he tells us, " knew nothing about 
experimental religion." She favored family prayer, but chided 

""Lost Chapters," p. 509. "Minutes of Conferences, 1797, p. 71. 

Levings, in The Christian Advocate and Journal. 
"John W. Ward, M.D., letter to the author. 

ii4 Old Sands Street Church. 

him for exhorting his neighbors so constantly; but the time 
soon came when she, too, was thoroughly converted. Pardon 
and peace came to her heart at a meeting led by Philip Gatch. 
Her husband was overjoyed. He says : 

It was the happiest day we had ever seen together. " Now," said she, " I 
am willing to be a Methodist, too; " from that time we went on hand and 
hand, helping and building each other up in the Lord, * * * and in the 
course of about three months after my wife's conversion we had six children 
converted to God. 

One of the six, David Abbott, began to preach as an itinerant 
in 1781, locating in 1784. He traveled again in 1793 and 1794. 
It was at his home, in Upper Alloways Creek, N. J., that his 
father died. A few months later Bishop Asbury mentioned 
him as a merchant in Crosswicks, in the same State. He re- 
mained faithful till his death. His son, David, was living about 
1859 at Old Chester, Pa., walking in the steps of his father 
and grandfather. 


,5 Lednum — Rise of Methodism, p. 326. 


oon after the close of the Revolutionary war the 
Rev. John Ragan came from Ireland, his native 
land, to the United States. He joined the Meth- 
odist itinerant ministry before the close of the conference 
year 1789. After that year he received the following 

APPOINTMENTS: 1790, Montgomery dr., Md., with George Hagerty; 
1791, ordained deacon, — : ,'ohn, N. B.; 1792, Long Island cir., with James 
Boyd; 1793, ordained elder, — Elizabethtown cir., N. J., with Wm. Rainor; 
1794, named among the elders — no appointment; 1795, Trenton cir., N. J. 
with Joshua Taylor; 1796, Bethel cir., with Anthony Turck. 

T. Watson Smith mentions him as one of the volunteer 
missionaries to Nova Scotia in 1791, with William Jessop, 
John Cooper, Wm. Early, Benj. Fisler and James Boyd, — 
all from the States. "Ragan remained at Halifax to attend 
to the work there."' 

In the absence of records of his time, we find at this late 
day no trace of his ministry in Brooklyn. Raybold, one of 
our Methodist historians, wrote in 1849 concerning John Ra- 
gan as follows: 

His labors and sufferings on the Bethel circuit, together with his success in 
winning souls to Christ, cannot be forgotten even at this day. We ourselves 
have found some of his living children.*** His colleague was Anthony Turck, 
a good preacher, but stenj, uncpnciliating and severe in his preaching. Ragan , 
on the other hand, was all love , sweetness, kindness and mildness, and crowds 
followed him from one appointment to another on the circuit. 

After one of his sermons, about a dozen young men, being 
deeply convicted of sin, followed Mr. Ragan from the meet- 
ing-house to the place where he dined, but were afraid to g ) 
in an4 speak to hini as they longed to do. As he sat down 
to dinner he saw through the open door the company of 
young people. Mr. Raybold says: 

1 See Methodism in Eastern British America, pp. 218, 219. 

Il6 Old Sands Street Church. 

He stopped eating, and inquiied what they sought. None could answer. 
He arose, went out to them, and seeing tears on many faces, and the solemn 
countenances of all, invited them to come in. The table was set aside; and 
there was no more dinner eaten for many hours. These hours were devoted 
to exhortation, prayer, and praise; and the result was that many of these 
young people were then and there truly converted to God. 2 

He was attacked with the yellow fever while on a visit to 
Philadelphia in August, 1797, and died soon after his return to 
the Bethel circuit, the scene of his pastoral labors. A recent 
pastor writes from the old Bethel circuit : 

He was buried in the church-yard of the Bethel M. E. Church at Hurff- 
ville, Washington township, Gloucester county, N. J. His grave is marked 
by a plain, gray, marble slab, with the following inscription : 

In Memory Of 


Who departed this Life 

September 11, 1797. 

Aged 45 years. 

He has gone from all afflictions here 
To reign in joys eternal there. 

He reposes about eight feet north of the church, and a fir-tree grows near 
his grave. 3 

His memoir in the Minutes incorrectly states that he was be- 
tween thirty-five and forty years of age at the time of his de- 
cease. The conference put on record the testimony that he 
was "conscientious " and "upright," remarkably studious, and 
well versed in history; and, notwithstanding he was charac er- 
ized by "great solitude of mind, and was subject to depression 
of spirits, * * * his labors were greatly blessed." " We be- 
lieve," said his brethren, " that he is now numbered among the 
spirits made perfect, in possession of uninterrupted pleasures 
above." 4 

There is no evidence that he ever married. Neither portrait 
nor autograph signature has been found. 

2 " Methodism in West Jersey," pp. 72, 73. 

3 Rev. J. T. Price, letter to the author. 

4 Minutes of Conferences, 1797, p. 73. 


ong Island circuit, which included Brooklyn, was 
manned by two preachers in 1792. One of these 
was the Rev. James Boyd. The following is his 
ITINERANT RECORD: 1791, Anapolis dr., Nova Scotia; 1792, Long 
Island cir., N. Y., with John Ragan; 1793, ordained deacon,— no appoint- 
ment named, probably Nova Scotia; 1794, Nova Scotia, with William Jessop, 
Isaac Lunsford, Daniel Fidler, Benj. Wilson, James Mann, John Mann and 
Richard Stockett; 1795, reported withdrawn. 

Besides the above which is gleaned from the Conference 
Minutes, the following is the only undoubted reference to 

this man which the author has been able to find: 


Boyd, who withdrew from the ministry, did not by that act surprise his breth- 
ren, who had stood in doubt of him. In 1796 he caused some confusion in 
Sheffield by an attempt to obtain the pastorate of the Congregational church in 
that place; though sustained in his application by a number of persons connect- 
ed with the congregation, he failed in his effort, and two years later re- 
turned to the United States. Previous to his withdrawal from the itinerancy 
he had married, and marriage at that day, when ministerial allowances were ex- 
ceedingly small and extremely uncertain, frequently involved early retirement 
from the active ranks. "So it is," wrote Jessop in reference to Boyd's with- 
drawal, to a brother whom he suspected of matrimonial intentions; "the devil 
tells us, when about to marry, that it will not hinder our traveling, but in the 
end, to our sorrow, we find him a liar. Wherefore, if we want to travel, the 
best way is to live single." 1 

At this point James Boyd vanishes from our view 2 
Thomas Boyd, ."a native of Europe," joined conference 
the same year with James Boyd, and died in 1794. 3 Whether 
or not they were of the same family is unknown. 

1 T. Watson Smith — Methodism in Eastern British America, p. 309. 

2 Another James Boyd, an eminent Methodist preacher in North Carolina and 
Virginia from 1S04 to 1836. was at first thought to be the same man, but an 
extended correspondence with his friends has assured us to the contrary. 

In the Yale College library is a collection of "Narratives of Missions," (Con- 
gregational,) which gives a brief history of one James Boyd, missionary in that 
part of Ohio formerly known as New Connecticut. He was ordained pastor of the 
churches in Warren and Newton in 1809, and retained the position till his 
death, March 3, 1 813. The report mentions "his afflicted family," and dis- 
courses upon his character and work in terms of highest commendation. His 
identity with the subject of this sketch is possible, but has not been established. 

3 Minutes of Conferences, 1795, p. 60. 


he Rev. Joseph Totten was born in the town of 
Hempstead, Queens County, N. Y., Feb. 4, 1759. 
In the same township, within seven years, were 
born Albert VanNostrand, Joseph Totten and probably Ja- 
cob Brush, who were to become prominent among the pio- 
neer Methodist preachers in their native island home. We 
learn from his published memoir that previous to his con- 

He was restrained from prevailing vice, and lived what was called a moral 
life, but when he heard the Methodist preachers he was deeply convinced of 
sin, and after a painful struggle he obtained a sense of pardoning mercy, and 
immediately united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He soon became 
conspicuous as an exhorter and leader, and was made useful to many in his 
neighborhood. 1 

At what age he became a Christian is not known to the 

author, nor whether it was previous to his removal to Staten 

Island. A relative, E. J. Totten, of Tottenville, who was 

personally acquainted with the Rev. Joseph Totten, writes: 

There were three brothers nere, owning farms near each other; Gilbert, (my 
grandfather,) Silas and Joseph Totten. Joseph married Miss Mary Androvett." 2 

The inscription on Joseph Totten's tombstone at Wood- 
row states that "he was among the first members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church on this island." It was proba- 
bly from his farm on Staten Island, that, "satisfied of his call 
to the work of the ministry, he entered the traveling con- 
nection in 1792," when thirty-three years of age. He re- 
ceived appointments from the conference for twenty-seven 
consecutive years, and the following is his 

ITINERANT RECORD: 1702, Elizabethtown cir. , N. J., with John 
Clark; 1793, Long Island dr., with George Strebeck; 1794, ordained dea- 

1 Conference Minutes, 18 19, p. 325. 

2 Letter to the author. 

Record of Ministers. no 

con, Freehold cir., N. J., with J. Robinson ; 1795, Brooklyn, "six months," 
probably twelve; 1796, ordained elder, New Rochelle and Croton cir., with 
David Brown and Ezekiel Canfield ; 1797, Long Island cir., with A. Nichols, 
Donnovan, and E. M'Lane ; the Minutes add Brooklyn, but he only ex- 
changed at intervals with Wm. Phoebus, the Brooklyn pastor ; 3 1798, New 
Rochelle cir., with John Clark ; 1799, Dutchess cir., with Roger Searle ; 1800- 
1802, (Philadelphia Conf.,) Elizabethtown cir., N. J., with J. Justice and Wm. 
Mills ; 1803, Burlington cir., with J. Osborn ; 1804, Trenton cir., with Geo. 
Woolley ; 1805, Gloucester cir., with Wm. Bishop ; 1806, Philadelphia, with 
James Smith, M. Coate, and T, Everard ; 1807-1810, presiding elder, Jersey 
Dist. ; 1811, New Brunswick ; 1812, New Brunswick and Trenton cir., with 
Wm. Mills ; 1813, Bergen cir., with Joseph Bennett ; 1814, Freehold cir., 
with Wm. Smith ; 1815, Essex and Staten Island cir., with J. Robertson and 
D. Moore ; 1816. ditto, with J. Potts and D. Moore ; 1817, Sussex and Ham- 
burgh cir., with Jos. Osborn ; 1818, Philadelphia, St. John's church. 

He appears in the record of the General Conference of 1800 
as the author of the following important rule : 

Brother Totten moved that every child of a traveling preacher shall receive 
sixteen dollars until the age of seven years, and from seven to fourteen years, 
fourteen dollars. Agreed to. 4 

He was an active member of General Conference, also, in 1804, 
1808, and 1816. His memoir says : 

After receiving his last appointment at the Philadelphia Conference, [in 1818,] 
he returned to his family on Staten Island, and on May 10, preached in the 
meeting-house at Westfield, [Woodrow.J from 1 Cor. ii, 2 : " For I determined 
not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified." After 
the services he descended from the pulpit, and walked with his wife into 
the burying ground, and marked out a spot, saying, " There I wish to be 
buried," as though he apprehended his end was nigh. 5 

On the following Sabbath he preached three times in Phila- 
delphia. He preached again with great power on Tuesday even- 
ing, and retired feeling perfectly well. In the morning he com- 
plained of being ill, but walked out into the yard. Presently 
the barking of a dog attracted the attention of a lady, and she 
discovered him lying on the ground. " He was brought into the 
house, but expired in a few moments'without uttering a word." 
Thus Joseph Totten passed away on May 20, 181 8, aged fifty- 
nine years. A mound was made over him on the spot he had 

3 Quarterly Conference Record of the Long Island circuit. 

Journal of General Conference, vol. i, p. 37. 
5 Conference Minutes, 1819, p. 325. 

i2o Old Sands Street Church. 

selected, and there, in the church-yard at Woodrow, he awaits 
the resurrection of the just. 

Joseph Totten was a noble specimen of the early race of 
Methodist preachers. His brethren of the conference, in the 
memoir from which we have already quoted, admiringly com- 
mended his ministerial faithfulness, and described him as " a 
man of piety, zeal, and courage, fearing no faces, and sparing 
no crimes." 

It is to be regretted that no portrait of Joseph Totten exists. 
E. J. Totten, now well-nigh eighty years of age, has distinct 
recollections of his great uncle, Joseph Totten. He writes: 

I frequently heard him and my father, who was the son of Gilbert Totten, 
debate on political matters, and become sometimes quite excited ; and I well 
recollect his personal appearance, and his voice in particular. He was rather 
short, stout, robust, with a strong voice, and quite commanding presence. 6 

Mary, wife of Joseph Totten, survived him nearly ten years. 
She died January 8, 1828, and was buried beside her husband. 
Their graves are marked by head-stones, appropriately inscribed. 

John C. Totten* the printer, whose name is on the title-page 
of many an old Methodist book, was a relative — a nephew, it is 
presumed. He married Letitia, a daughter of Joseph Totten.' 

E. J. Totten writes from his personal recollection concerning 
two sons and three daughters of Joseph and Mary Totten. The 
sons were named Mark (he thinks) and Asbury. Asbury left a 
son, whose son is now living, and has a family of children to 
perpetuate the name, and, it is hoped, the virtues of their ances- 
tor. Two of the daughters' husbands were John C. Totten and 
John Pray. Mr. Pray and his wife were highly esteemed mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church on Staten Island. 
The third daughter married in New York. 

6 Letter to the author. ' Letter from E. J. Totten. 


sbury wrote that several "promising" young men 
had joined the traveling connection on trial in 
1792. Among these was the Rev. George Stre- 
beck. He remained but a short time among the itinerant 
preachers, as will be seen by the following 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1^2, Methodist, New York dr., with-T. 
Morrell and L. Green; 1793, Long Island cir. , with Joseph Totten; 1794, 
name disappears; — Wakely says he withdrew, but he seems never to have joined 
the conference in full connection; 1 797-1 804, Lutheran, pastor of a church lo- 
cated, first in. Pearl-street, New York, afterward in Mott-street, which under 
his administration went over to the Episcopalians, — from his day until now it 
has been styled the Zion Episcopal Church cf New York; 1 1804, Episcopalian, 
ordained deacon by Eishop Moore, July 18, 1804, officiating in Bedford, N. Y., 
and vicinity; 1805, called to Grace Church, Jamaica, L. I., for six months; 
1805-1808, rector St. Stephen's Church, New York; 1809-1811, residing in New 
York — had an honorary seat in the convention; 18 14, name not on clergy list. 2 

While in charge of the Lutheran congregation in New 
York, "Mr. Strebeck was a very zealous, popular preacher, 
and crowds attended his ministry." 8 A local historian in 
the Protestant Episcopal Church writes as follows: 

Mr. Strebeck was the minister of a Lutheran church in Mott-street, New 
York city. He and the mass of the congregation conformed to the Church. 
Soon after this a disaffection sprang up towards him in the congregation. It 
was too serious to be resisted, and his friends retired from Zion Church, and 
together with others proposed the erection of this church, [St. Stephen's,] as an 
act of kindness to him. 4 

He further states that at a meeting in the spring of 
1805, a commitee was appointed consisting of the Rev. 
George Strebeck, Cornelius Schuyler and Isaac Emmons to 
take the necessary measures to become under the law a 

1 See Wakeley's "Lost Chapters," pp. 386, 387. The dates are taken from 
an old record of Zion Church. 

2 See "Lost Chapters," and Journals of Conventions in Diocese of New York. 

3 Wakeley. 

4 Rev. Joseph H. Price— Historical Sketch of St. Stephen's Church, New 


Old Sands Street Church. 

religious society, and that arrangements were soon afterward 
made for the purchase of lots for a church on the corner of 
First and Bullock streets. He also records the following: 

On April 22, 1805, the Rev. Mr. Strebeck was invited to the rectorship, 
and being present at the meeting, accepted. * * * April 25, 1809, the 
Rev. Mr. Strebeck, in an unexpected and informal maimer, resigned the rec- 
torship, having occupied it about four years. I have nothing to say concern- 
ing the efficiency or inefficiency of Mr. Strebeck s ministry in this church. If 
inefficient, then it must be acknowledged that the compensation for his serv- 
ice, small and uncertain in its payment, was a fair offset to his deficiency, 
and I think our better way is to let the poor man rest, and believe that the most 
ungrateful task any man can undertake is to sow the seed from which others 
are to reap the fruit. There are more martyrs in the church militant than are 
honored in the church calendar. 

In 1806 Mr. Strebeck gave the following report to the con- 

The congregation is increasing, and those who are regular members of it 
appear generally to be attached to the doctrines and worship of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. To me it is peculiarly gratifying that they join with fer- 
vor in the responses of the service. One hundred families holding pews ; sixty 

Dr. Wakeley, who had no patience with those who turned 
aside from the Methodist ministry to other churches, says: 

His children had been baptized, but he repudiated their former baptism, 
and they were rebaptized in the Protestant Episcopal Church. * * * I 
have watched the course of Mr. Strebeck, as of others who have left us. In- 
stead of being pastor of a large church, with splendid parsonage and a great 
salary, he was pastor of a little country church, where he had very dry fodder ; 
and, as discretion is the better part of valor, he retired from his pulpit duties 
and pastoral labors, to keep a boarding school for boys. 6 

The same authority states that he left New York after a short 
time, and went South, and died in Charleston or Savannah. Mrs. 
James S. Carpenter, of Glen Cove, L. I., said to the author that 
he married her cousin, Jerusha Mott. Diligent effort to obtain 
further information concerning George Strebeck has been with- 
out avail. 

6 '< 

Lost Chapters," pp. 387, 388. 



rooklyn never rejoiced in a Methodist pastor of 
greater talent and popularity than the Rev Eze- 
kiel Cooper. He was born in Caroline Co., Md., 
February, 22, 1763, and died Sunday, February 21, 1847, hav- 
ing just completed his eighty-fourth year. He had spent 
sixty two years in the ministry 

His step-father, Nathan Downs, was an officer in the Rev- 
olutionary army. 1 Freeborn Garrettson came into the neigh- 
borhood in 1776 and proposed to preach. The soldiers were 
drawn up in front of the house, and formed into a hollow 
square, while Garrettson stood in the center and addressed 
them. The preacher noticed among the most thoughtful 
and respectful listeners, a boy standing, and leaning upon 
the gate. That boy was Ezekiel Cooper; and that sermon 
seems to have made a profound impression upon him and 
decided his future course. Before he became of age, he com- 
menced preaching under Ftancis Asbury, and a year or two 
later he entered the itinerant ranks, and rendered the most 
distinguished service to the church in the following 

APPOINTMENTS: 1785, Long Island cir. ; 1786, East Jersey cir. , wih 
John M'Claskey; 1787, Trenton cir., with Nath'l B. Mills; 1788, ordained dea- 
con, — Baltimore, Md. , with Francis Spry; 1789, ordained elder, — Anapolis; 
1790, ditto; 1 791, Alexandria Va. ; 1792, no appointment named: 1793- presid- 
ing elder, Boston District; 1794, (New York Conf.) New York and Brook- 
lyn, with L. M'Combs, YVm. Phcebus, sup'y, J. Brush, sup'y, and D. Kendall, 
sup'y; 1795, Phila., with John M'Claskey; 1796, ditto with Wilson Lee; 1797- 
1798, Wilmington, Del. Appointed book agent in 1798, vice John Dickins, 
deceased. 2 1799-1804, editor and general book agent. (From 1802, in the 
Phila. Conf.) 1804, last part, Brooklyn, in place of C. Stebbins, resigned; 
1805, (New York Conf.) still in Brooklyn— Sam'l Merwin was there the last 
quarter; i8t)6, ditto, with Samuel Thomas and Oliver Sykes; 3 1807, New York 

1 Lednum — Rise of Methodism; Introduction, p. xix. 

■ Simpson's Cyclopedia. 3 See sketch of (X Sykes in this book. 


124 Old Sands Street Church. 

cir., with T. Bishop, F. Ward, I\ Peck, and S. Thomas ; 1808, ditto, with W 
Thacher, J. Wilson, F. Ward, L. Andrus, and P Peck ; 1809, Wilmington, 
Del.; 1810-1811, "missionary;" 1812, Baltimore city, with A. Schinn, J. 
Smith, and J. Fry; 1813-1819, located; 1820, (Phila. Conf.,) Philadelphia, 
St. George's, with James Smith, Sen., and James Smith "of Baltimore;" 
1821, sup'y, same church, with James Smith and Thomas Miller; 1822, New 
Castle, Del. ; 1823-1824, sup'y, without appointment ; 1825, sup'y, presiding 
elder, West Jersey Dist. ; 1826, sup'y, Philadelphia, St. George's, with S. 
Merwin, L. Prettyman and R. Lutton ; 1827, conf. missionary; 1828-1834; 
sup'y, conf. miss'y ; 1835-1836, sup'y, without appointment; 1837, sup'y, 
Philadelphia, St. George's with Charles Pitman ; 1838, ditto, with Jos. 
Lybrand ; 1839-1840, ditto, with R. Gerry: 1841-1842, ditto, with J. B. 
Hagany ; 1843, ditto, with E. L. Janes ; 1844-1845, sup'y, without appoint- 
ment; 1846, superannuated. 

He was seven times a member of General Conference, repre- 
senting the Philadelphia Conference first in 1804, and the last 
time in 1832. He was superannuated less than one out of the 
threescore years of his ministry. 

Ezekiel Cooper was the first of the large number of Method- 
ist preachers who began their itinerant ministry on Long Island. 
His field in 1785 included the whole of the island, but there was 
no Methodism in Brooklyn, and the place was not until five 
years later included in that circuit. The only Methodkt Soci- 
eties that Cooper found on Long Island were at Newtown and 
Comae. Philip Cox had wrought nobly as a pioneer, and estab- 
lished several preaching appointments. It is also probable that 
the number of members increased, (he made no report,) but he 
did not, so far as is known, form any new classes. At the close 
of Ezekiel Cooper's year on the island, he reported 154 mem- 
bers, having organized societies at Rockaway, Searingtown, 
Hempstead South, and Musketo Cove, (now Glen Cove.) 

Among those who were brought to Christ through his faithful 
ministry in Brooklyn was a lad fourteen years of age, named 
Charles Wesley Carpenter. He became one of the pastors of 
the Sands-street Church, and a St. John among them all. 

The greatest historian of American Methodism says of Ezekiel 
Cooper : 

His personal appearance embodied the finest ideal of age, intelligence, and 
tranquillity. His frame was tall and slight, his locks white with years, his 
forehead high and prominent, and his features expressive of reflection and 
serenity. A wen had been enlarging on his neck from childhood, but without 
detracting from the peculiarly elevated and characteristic expression of his 
face. He was considered by his associates a living encyclopedia in respect 

Record of Ministers. 125 

not only to theology, but most other departments of knowledge, and his large 
and accurate information was only surpassed by the soundness of his judgment." 

The following extract from his correspondence will serve to 
illustrate his practical wisdom and common-sense, as well as his 
ability to express his thoughts with clearness and precision. 
Mrs. Catherine Garrettson had written him a letter which called 
for his judgment as to the importance to be attached to certain 
remarkable " dreams and visions," the details of which are not 
known to us. He replied : 

As to the cause of the dreams and visions of Miss K , I have but little 

that I wish to say upon that subject. Time will show and make manifest 
better and more fully than any other commentary. I agree, " It is our busi- 
ness to investigate truth and support the cause of God, whatever we may suffer 
in its defense ;" but we are not bound to support, or to believe, that which is 
not supported by rational evidence drawn from credible and competent 
sources, either human or divine, and more especially when it clashes with 
established rules and principles in nature, fact, or revelation, by which we are 
to test truth and detect error in our investigations. A person may '"be sin- 
cere," and yet labor under great delusions of imagination. " Marvelous and 
momentous things, times and events" may be imagined from the fanciful 
effervescence and effusions of a lively, inventive, and heated imagination, which 
cannot stand the test of calm, deliberate investigation. We may, in such 
cases, admit great error of judgment, without impeaching the moral intention. 5 

In the pulpit he gained a position among the "brightest 
lights " and " ablest orators " of his day. Says a writer in The 
(New York) Methodist : 6 

At times an irresistible pathos accompanied his preaching, and in the forest 
worship audiences of ten thousand would be so enchanted by his discourses 
that the most profound attention, interest, and solemnity prevailed. In public 
debate he possessed powers almost unequaled, and he seldom advocated a 
measure that did not prevail. 

The Rev. Dr. John Kennaday says, in an appreciative 
criticism : 

His ability as a preacher and debater excelled his ability as an author. In 
discussion his name was Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 7 

He published a " Funeral Sermon " on the Rev. John Dickins, 
and the " Substance of a Funeral Sermon on the Rev. Francis 

4 Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 132. 

5 Unpublished letter, dated Philadelphia, February 3, 182 
"June 16, 1866. 

7 Sprague's Annals. 


126 Old Sands Street Church. 

Asbury." The latter was a 321110 volume of 320 pages. 8 
Previous to its publication he said, in a letter to Freeborn 
Garrettson : 

Did you ever write down the substance of your discourse on the death of 
Bishop Asbury ? I have written mine, agreeably to the request of the con- 
ference, but I have never given it up, nor submitted it to the inspection of the 
committee, nor to any other person. It is rolled up among my papers. I 
don't know but I may yet consent to let it be published. I am undetermined 
at present ; sundry considerations influence me to keep it back for a while. I 
wish to do what may be right and most prudent in the case. 9 

In the same letter he wrote : 

I cannot labor constantly, but occasionally I stand forth to bear my testi- 
mony. I am pressed rather too much at times for my strength and health. 
Could I do the work of three strong men, I have sufficient calls and invitations 
to fill up all the time. If I venture to preach twice in one day, which some- 
times I do, it hurts me. I am going down hill. Oh that we both may make 
a safe and happy close of life and labor in the Lord's good time ! 

This reads like the language of an old warrior on the eve of 
his discharge, but it was written thirty years before his work on 
earth was done. 

Like most men of mark, he had his peculiarities. An author- 
ity already quoted writes : 

He was known as a great angler ; like Izaac Walton he carried his fishing- 
tackle with him, and was ever ready to give a reason for his recreation. 
Bishop Scott says that his walking-cane was arranged for a fishing-rod, and he 
always had on hand a Scripture argument to prove that fishing was an apostolic 
practice. On one occasion, when he returned from an excursion without 
catching any thing, a preacher was much disposed to laugh at his poor success. 
" Nevermind," said the reverend old angler, "although I have caught nothing, 
while watching my line 1 have finished the outline of one or two sermons." So 
his time had not been idly spent. 10 

Some peculiarity of his disposition may be supposed to ac- 
count for his continuing in " a state of single blessedness." He 
possessed rare business talent. Under his management the cap- 
ital stock of the "Book Concern " advanced in six years from 
almost nothing to $45,000, and at his death his personal estate 
was valued at $50,000. He was frugal to a fault, but at the 

8 See M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopaedia. 

9 Unpublished letter, dated Burlington, N. J., October 24, 1817.. 

10 Stevens' Plist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 134 ; quoted from The Methodist. 

Record of Ministers. 127 

same time " liberal to the poor." Simpson's Cyclopaedia states 
that he made a bequest for the benefit of the poor in the St. 
George's church, Philadelphia. It is said, however, that, in 
consequence of an imperfect codicil, the portion of his estate 
which was designed for benevolent objects " failed of its good 
mission." A note in The Christian Advocate states that he 
bequeathed an octavo Bible to every child named after him. 
However, Ezekiel Coopers do not seem to be a numerous race. 

He attained the age of eighty-four years lacking one day. 
His sickness was neither long nor very painful. Calmly, peace- 
fully, and sometimes exultingly, with hallelujahs on his lips, he 
waited for the chariot to come, and at length, on the 21st of 
February, 1847, tne hero of a hundred battles, the oldest mem- 
ber of a Methodist conference then in America, 11 was translated 
to the highest heavens. His intimate and venerable friend, 
Nathan Bangs, preached his funeral sermon in the St. George s 
church, Philadelphia, in front of which, near the grave of Law- 
rence M'Combs, his remains were interred. 

His portrait in oil has been preserved in the Methodist build- 
ing in New York, of which the accompanying engraving is a 
very excellent copy His fore-finger hides the large wen on his 
neck. So Alexander the Great, while the artist painted his por- 
trait, covered an imperfection in his face. 

11 Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. in, p. 130. 


he Rev. Lawrence M 'Combs 1 was pastor of the 
Brooklyn charge one year — 1794. This was his 
second appointment, and he was twenty-five years 
of age, having already given promise of the commanding 
eminence he was destined to attain in the Church. 

He was born of wealthy parents, 2 in Kent County, Del., 
March 11, 1769. At a very early period, as his memorial in 
the Conference Minutes affirms, he obtained remission of 
sins. There appears to be no further record concerning him 
until 1792, the date of his admission on trial into the travel- 
ing ministry. His history subsequent to t!»iis time is epit- 
omized in the following 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1792 Newburgh dr., N. Y., with S. 
Fowler; 1793 ditto with S. Weeks; 1794 (ordained deacon') New York and 
Brooklyn with Ezekiel Cooper: (supernumeraries, Wra. Phoebus, J. Brush and 
D. Kendall); 1795 New London cir., New England, with G, Thompson; 1796 
(ordained elder) Middletown cir. ; 1 797-1 798 Tolland cir.; 1799 New London a 
2nd term, with A. Wood; 1800 Philadelphia; 1801 Bait. Conf., Baltimore, with 
George Roberts; 1802 Baltimore city and Fell's Point, with J. Wells and S. 
Coate; 1803 Fell's Point; 1804 Baltimore cir., with N. B. Mills; 1805 among 
the elders, but no appointment named; 1806-1814 a local preacher; 1815 Phil- 
adelphia Conf., Smyrna cir., Del., with John Collins; i8i6ditto withS. P. Levis; 
1817 Queen Ann's cir., Md., with Thomas Ware; 1S18 Kent cir., Md., with \Y. 
Ryder; 1819-1822 P E. Jersey Distric? 1823 Essex and Staten Island with I. 
W.nner; 1824-1825 Philadelphia, St. John's; 1826 Wilmington, Del.; 1827- 
1828 P. E. Jersey Dist. 2nd term; 1829-1832 Chesapeake Dist. ; 1833 South 
Phila. Dist.; 1834 sup'y at Philadelphia, St. Paul's Church, with Wm. Uriel 
1835-1836 superannuated. 

1 Incorrectly spelled M'Coombs in his conference obituary and in the Jidex 
to Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church. 

2 Rev, E. De Pew in M'Clintock and Strong. 

3 His name, though on the roll of those received into full connection, is, it 
would seem, inadvertently omitted from the list of deacons. 

Record of Ministers. 12 g 


No one, so far as known, is able to furnish reminiscences of 
his ministerial labors in Brooklyn. It is well known, however, 
that he " performed an unprecedented amount of labor, and left 
the impress of his energetic character wherever he went." 4 It 
is related that on his first circuit 

This intrepid young man urged his way over mountains and through val- 
leys, stirring the community wherever he came with hymn and sermon, until 
the wilderness and solitary places were made glad. His popularity became 
almost unbounded, and from the very commencement of his ministry crowds 
attended his appointments. There were few church edifices, and his preach- 
ing during the milder season was chiefly in the fields. 5 

Of his services on the New London circuit, after leaving 
New York and Brooklyn, Stevens says : 

The tireless Lawrence M 'Combs succeeding in fortifying the yet feeble so- 
cieties of that large circuit, and in planting several new ones. 6 

He was a member of every General Conference from 1804 to 
1832, excepting the two held in 1808 and 1812, while he was a 
located preacher. He distinguished himself in 1812 as a vol- 
unteer to defend the village of Havre de Grace. During his 
period of location, 1806 to 1814, he is said to have preached 
frequently and with unabated zeal in the vicinity of his resi- 
dence on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, near the head of the 
Chesapeake Bay. His record shows that he held a superannu- 
ated relation but a little more than a year, and his memoir says, 
mournfully, that during that time he was "agonized in body, 
enfeebled in mind, and nearly deprived of speech;" yet he suf- 
fered all without a murmur. In Paul's language, about being 
with Christ, he expressed the steadfast hope of his heart, and 
those were the last words that fell from his lips. 7 Thus peace- 
fully he departed this life at his residence in Philadelphia, on 
the nth of June, 1836, aged sixty-seven years. 

He was laid to rest in the old St. George's church-yard, and 
a memorial tablet on the wall of the church commemorates ap- 
propriately his greatness and his usefulness. 8 

In an admirable portraiture of his character, one of his inti- 
mate friends says of him : 

4 M'Clintock and Strong. 5 Rev. Dr. J. Kennaday in Sprague's Annals. 
6 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 61. 
'Minutes of Conference, 1837, p. 492. 
8 Letter of John Whiteman to the author. 

130 Old Sands Street Church. 

No hostility could intimidate him in the course of duty, nor could any prov- 
ocation betray him into petulance or resentment. His perceptions were 
quick and clear, and his judgment sober and impartial. He had a fine im- 
agination, which, being restrained and regulated by his admirable taste, gave 
beauty and warmth to all his pictures. 9 

Another, who knew him well, says : 

He spoke in the pulpit with a fluency and power almost unsurpassed. A 
Frenchman after hearing him preach exclaimed : " That man's tongue is 
hung in the middle, and goes at both ends." The foreigner was converted 
and became a Methodist preacher. 10 

Bishop Scott, who accords to M'Combs a natural geniality 
and cheerfulness of spirit, adds the following qualifying state- 
ment : 

There was a tendency in the latter part of his life to melancholy and im- 
patience. * * * As a preacher he had great power over the masses. He dealt 
much in controversy, but was not a close thinker, and his style was diffuse and 
even wordy. 11 

It is presumed by one of his biographers, 12 from the favor- 
able conditions of his early life, that he was distinguished for 
culture. It is true, that he held a high place as an orator, and 
was honored in the councils of the Church ; he was a member 
of the General Conference Committee on Education in 1828. 
These facts, however, do not establish his reputation for a high 
grade of scholarship. Like most of his contemporaries, he is 
not known to have published any sermons or other literary 
composition. The following extracts from a letter 13 written by 
him will aid the reader to form an estimate, not only of the 
spirit of the man, but of his style also : 

Baltimore, March 17, 1802. 

Dear Brother ; I received your letter, which was the first intimation that 
you were in the Province of Maine. Since I left the New England States I 
have had but a superficial knowledge of the state and stations of the preachers. 
But I perceive that they are still upon the circulating plan , and I hope they 
are still getting and doing good. 

The work of the Lord in this part and south of us is very prosperous. We 

9 Rev. Dr. J. Kennaday in Sprague's Annals, vol. vii, p. 211. 

10 Laban Clark, in Sprague. n Sprague's Annals. 

12 E. De Pew, in M'Clintock and Strong. 

13 The original is in the library of the New England Methodist Historical 

Society. Many of the words are misspelled. 

Record of Ministers. 131 

have some of the most powerful conversions in the public congregations that 
you ever beheld. The work is so general that from the aged down to the 
children they can speak good in the name of the Lord. South of us the 
Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians have so far united as to hold their 
public and private meetings together, and the work is going on with a most 
astonishing rapidity. And to the westward of us, in the wilderness, they con- 
tinue, according to the most recent accounts, to meet in the woods — from 75 
to 20,000 persons at one place — have their wagons at the distance from 50 to 
100 miles, and strike their tents, and there continue from one to five, six, or 
seven days, preaching, singing, and praying. And from 100 to 500 have pro- 
fessed to find peace at one of those meetings. The work astonishes even the 
most pious — it is so great as to the numbers converted, and the effect it hath 
upon their lives. The work is now spreading in Georgia, North and South 
Carolina, and Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I hope the flame will 
continue until it reaches the Province of Maine. I don't feel any doubt but 
God will continue his work, and will spread it far and wide, if the people 
will receive it. But I know it would be rejected by some in New England, 
though others might rejoice in it. What would the people think and say if 
they were to see from 100 to 500 people of all descriptions fall down upon the 
ground and call for mercy ? 

Ah ! brother, this is serious and solemn work. We have in this city the 
last year hundreds converted to God. The work is of the above kind. It is 
enough to melt the heart of stone, comparatively speaking, to see and hear 
hundreds of souls call at the same time for God to have mercy on them. 

Myself and child are well, and hope these will find you in health and 
peace. I am, etc., 

L. M'Combs. 
Rev. Epaphras Kibby, Monmouth. 

Dr. Kennaday thus further describes him : 

His personal appearance was very imposing. In stature he was full six 
feet in height, with a finely developed form, though not corpulent ; the 
breadth of his chest indicated the prodigious strength which enabled him to 
perform his almost gigantic labors. The general expression of his counte- 
nance betokened intelligence, gentleness, and energy; while his full, frank 
face was illumined by his ever-kindling eye. His voice was full, clear, and 
of great flexibility, sweeping from the lowest to the highest tone, and modu- 
lated in the most delicate manner, in beautiful harmony with his subject. In 
preaching in the field, which was his favorite arena, I used to think he was 
quite an approach to Whitefield. Such was his known power at camp-meet- 
ings, that the announcement that he was to be present on such an occasion 
would draw a multitude of people from great distances. 14 

Another says : 

As he warmed in speaking he had a singular habit of elevating, I think, his 
right shoulder by sudden jerks. He wore his hair combed smoothly back, 

14 Sprague's Annals. 

132 Old Sands Street Church. 

and being long, it fell somewhat upon his shoulders. His countenance was 
of an open and benevolent expression. His whole appearance was attractive 
and impressive, suggesting repose of mind, sympathy, self-possession, and 
authority. 15 

It is a matter of regret that no likeness of Lawrence 
M'Combs can be found. 

His first wife was a native of Port Royal county, Va., — a 
Christian from her childhood. Dr. Kennaday wrote of her as a 
lady of most discreet and amiable deportment. She died, in 
great peace, in Wilmington, Del., April 17, 1832. By this mar- 
riage he had one daughter, a lovely girl, who survived her 
mother but a few months. An old Methodist writes on the 
authority of the Rev. A. Atwood, that both mother and daughter 
are buried in Wilmington, Del., in the grounds of the Asbury 
Methodist Episcopal church. 18 The pastor of that church, in 
1881, wrote as follows: 

I have inquired and searched diligently in reference to the persons about 
whom you inquire. The first wife of Lawrence M'Combs is not buried in the 
grounds of Asbury M. E. church. His daughter is, but there is no stone, 
that I can find, to mark her resting-place. 17 

On the 4th of April, 1833, Mr. M'Combs was married to Mrs. 
Sarah Andrews, of Philadelphia, 18 whose " fortitude and kind- 
ness contributed much to the comfort of his declining years." 19 

15 Bishop Scott, in Sprague. 

16 John Whiteman, of Philadelphia, letter to the author. 
11 Rev. Charles Hill, letter to the author. 

18 Notice in The Christian Advocate and Journal. 

19 Kennaday. 


From " Centenary Album," by Roberts, Raltimore, 1866. 


he Rev. George Roberts, M. D. was born about 
1766, of English parents, probably after their immi- 
gration to the neighborhood of Easton, Pa. Dur- 
ing his boyhood he worked on his father's farm. He was 
studious, and often sat in the chimney corner, reading by the 
light of the fire such books as he could find. Candles 
were an expensive luxury which his parents could not af- 
ford. His Christian life began on the 29th of April, 1783, 
when he was seventeen years of age. After his father's death 
he managed the little farm for his mother, who was a gentle, 
amiable woman, a member of the Church of England, as was 
also his sister, Mrs. Rue. 

His son relates that "his first efforts at preaching were 
made when he was about nineteen years of age. His youth 
and unpretending appearance led many to go out and hear 
him," and he preached with acceptability, notwithstanding 
"his homely dress and old woolen hat, with its crown kept in 
place by stitches of white country thread here and there 
appearing." 1 He served the Church four years as a local 

In his twenty-third year he married a lady of the Eastern 
Shore, whose name is unknown. She was a woman of great 
excellence, but survived her marriage only a few months. 2 
Soon after her death, "in the fall of 1789," 3 he entered upon 
his itinerant labors, which covered a period of sixteen years, 
as indicated in the following 

'Roberts' Centenary Album, p. 93. 2 Sprague's Annals. 

3 His letter to Bishop Asbury, quoted in Centenary Album, p. 97. Stevens' 
Hist. M. E. Church, Vol. ii, p. 439, «*ays " 1790. "but see Conf. Minutes, 1790, 
p. 36, where he is reported as "remaining on trial." 

134 Old Sands Street Church. 

CONFERENCE RECORD : 1789, appointment not known ; 1790, 4 
Annamessex cir., Md., with J. Wyatt ; the same year he went to New En- 
gland with Jacob Brush and Daniel Smith, to re-enforce Jesse Lee ; 1791, or- 
dained deacon — Middlefield cir., Ct., with John Allen ; 1792, Hartford cir., with 
Hope Hull and F- Aldridge ; 1793, ordained elder — New London cir., with R. 
Swain and F. Aldridge ; 1794, elder, his district including about the entire west- 
ern half of New England ; 1795, in charge of a district including Long 
Island, and reaching to Pittsfield, Mass. ; 1796, New York city, with Andrew 
Nichols ; 1797, ditto, with J. Wells and W. Beauchamp ; 1798, ditto, with 
Joshua Wells and Cyrus Stebbins ; 1799, Baltimore Conf. , Annapolis, Md. ; 
1800, Baltimore and Fell's Point, with T Morrell, P. Bruce, and N. Snethen ; 
1S01, ditto, with L. M'Combs ; 1802, (Phila. Conf.,) Philadelphia, with J. 
M'Claskey, and W P. Chandler, sup'y ; 1803, ditto, with Solomon Sharp, 
and T. F. Sargent ; 1804, (Bait. Conf.,) Baltimore, Md., with J. Bloodgood, 
and T. F. Sargent ; 1805, ditto, with T. F. Sargent and Alex. M'Caine ; 
1806, local elder in Baltimore. 

Stevens graphically describes the arrival of Roberts and his 
colleagues, Jacob Brush and Daniel Smith, at Dantown, in New 
England, in 1790, and the joy of Jesse Lee, as he saw them 
riding up, and welcomed them with the benediction, "Blessed 
is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." 5 It would require 
volumes to record his labors and privations in the Eastern States. 
His son wrote to Dr. Stevens: 

I once heard my father say that during the whole period of his labors in 
New England he never received over forty dollars per annum from any source. 
He never had more than one suit of clothes at a time. On one occasion 
Bishop Asbury punched his saddle-bags with his cane and said, " Brother 
Roberts, where are your clothes?" His reply was, "On my back, sir." He 
accompanied the bis*hop, piloting him through New England, in his first visit 
to that portion of our country. 6 

While preaching in New England he received Lorenzo Dow 
into the Church. 7 On the 16th of August, 1797, about eight years 
after the -death of his first wife, he was united in marriage to a 
daughter of Samuel LePage, of New York. That same year, 
June 29, he laid the corner-stone of the old Duane-street church. 
Bishop Asbury made an exception in his case, and allowed him 
to continue three years in that city. He was embarrassed by 
the example, and wrote to Thomas Morrell, under date of 
June 10, 1790 : 

4 About this time he was in Talbot, Md., and adjoining counties. See Ste- 
vens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 439. 

5 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 435. 

6 Ibid., vol. ii, pp. 440, 441. " Lost Chapters," p, 5 QI - 

Record of Ministers. 135 

Feeling the great, the exceeding great want of preachers, I wished to keep 
one another year, George Roberts. He hath stayed an unwarrantable time in 
New York. He cannot be supported upon any station but Baltimore. 8 

Mr. Roberts was a member of the General Conference in 
1804. Dr. Wakeley errs in assigning ill health as the reason 
for his locating in 1806. 9 His son, Dr. George C. M. Roberts, 
states that he attended two courses of medical lectures while 
preaching in Philadelphia, and while stationed in Baltimore was 
licensed to practice medicine ; but that he abstained from doing 
so until he ceased to be an itinerant preacher. The change in 
his occupation is thus explained : 

The manner of his locating, or what led to it, was somewhat peculiar, and 
is not generally known. He attended conference in 1806, having no inten- 
tion of locating at that time until the day before the conference closed. On 
this occasion he was seated at the table, when Bishop Asbury wrote him a 
short note, stating the great difficulty he had in stationing him, on account of 
the size of his family, and his unwillingness to send him to any place where their 
comfort would be jeopardized in the least, and asked him what he could do under 
the circumstances. My father replied that he did not wish, in the slightest 
degree, to embarrass the bishop or trammel the work ; that when the Church 
was unable to support him, he would ask a local relation. When the appoint- 
ments were announced by the bishop, his name appeared as having located, 
thus taking by surprise his numerous friends, who had not known before of the 
circumstances. 10 

From that time until his death he sustained an honorable 
place as physician and local elder in the city of Baltimore. He 
died December 2, 1827, aged sixty-two years, translated from a 
death-bed scene of physical anguish and spiritual triumph, 
"never, perhaps, surpassed in the history of man." One who 
heard his shouts of rapture, says : 

Anight or two previous to his dissolution, I urged him to spare himself, and 
offered, as a reason for it, the possibility of his disturbing the neighbors. He 
immediately replied : " Be quiet, my son ? No, no ! If I had the voice of an 
angel, I would rouse the inhabitants of Baltimore for the purpose of telling 
the joys of redeeming love. Victory ! victory ! " "Victory through the blood 
of the Lamb," was the last sentence that ever trembled on his dying lips. 11 

His friends laid him to rest in Mt. Olivet cemetery, a few feet 
from the grave of Bishop Asbury. 

8 See The Christian Advocate, May 1, 1884. 

9 See " Lost Chapters," p. 509. ,0 Centenary Album, p. 95. 

11 Dr. G. C. M. Roberts ; letter to Dr. Abel Stevens. 

!^6 Old Sands Street Chunk. 

The accompanying portrait, copied from the one drawn by 
Ruckle, is said to be an excellent likeness, though made from 
recollections of him after his death. Abel Stevens gives a clear 
portraiture of George Roberts in the following words : 

The person of Dr. Roberts was large and athletic, his manners exceedingly 
dignified, and in social life, relieved by a subdued cheerfulness. To his dig- 
nity, which well befitted his noble person, was added, in the pulpit, a most 
impressive power of persuasion. His sermons were systematic and digested, 
and in their application often overwhelming. Wherever he went, his presence 
at once commanded respect. The infidel and the scorner grew serious, or 
shrunk from before him, in either the public congregation or the conversa- 
tional circle. A reckless skeptic once attempted with the air of a cham- 
pion to engage him in a difficult discussion in presence of a company of 
friends. Roberts heard him for several minutes without uttering a word, but 
as he advanced in his scornful criticisms, the listening preacher's countenance 
and whole bearing assumed an expression of solemn scrutiny, which struck the 
by-standers with awe and made the skeptic quail. When he had 'concluded, 
Roberts placed his hand on the infidel's breast, and with a look of irresistible 
power, exclaimed, " Sir, the conscience which God has placed within you re- 
futes and confounds you." The rebuked scoffer trembled and fled from his 
presence. This fact illustrates, better than could pages of remark, the charac- 
ter of this mighty man of God. 12 

Of the first wife of George Roberts only the facts already 
stated are known. His second wife, Susannah Morrell Le- 
Page, was born in Albany, N. Y She removed with her par- 
ents to New York city, and there, while a child, she found con- 
verting grace, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, of 
which she continued a faithful and honored member for seventy- 
six years. She was an intimate friend of Bishop Asbury, whom 
she frequently entertained at her house, and for whom she per- 
formed many kind offices. On one occasion, after she had 
washed his feet, the venerable bishop said, " Susan, many 
daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." 
The graces of the Spirit were harmoniously and beautifully devel- 
oped in her character and life. Her intellect, at the advanced 
age of eighty, remained unimpaired. She departed this life, at 
the residence of her son, the late Rev. Dr. Geo. C. M. Roberts, in 
Baltimore, in the month of November, 1869. Her obituary says : 

As she approached the margin of the river her spiritual sky brightened. 
She was anxious to depart. Bidding loved ones adieu, she leaned on the 

12 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 441. 

Record of Members. 137 

bosom of the Lord, and in the same room, and^ on the same bed where her 
sainted husband expired, forty-two years before, calmly fell asleep. 13 

George and Susannah Roberts were the parents of eleven 
children. 14 Four of their sons were physicians. The author 
had the honor of the acquaintance of one of them, the Rev. Dr. 
George C. M. Roberts. He was everyway worthy of his noble 
parents, very closely resembling his father in person and char- 
acter. " The oldest daughter, Emily Roberts, married Dr. 
Isaac Hulse, U. S. N., and died and was buried at sea, between 
Pensacola and New York. Her little girl was taken to her 
grandmother's, and under the sweet influence of that home, de- 
veloped unusual talent. She is the Mrs. George Hulse M'Leod, 
whose graceful pen and sweet voice have rendered efficient aid 
to the cause of temperance. The only remaining child of Dr. 
George Roberts is Mrs. Hough, of Virginia." 15 One of the 
daughters married the Rev. Henry Slicer in 1827, and died in 


13 Rev. W. H. Chapman, in The Christian Advocate. 

14 Sprague's Annals. 

18 Miss Fidelia M. Creagh, letter to the author. 
18 The Christian Advocate, Aug. 5, 1875. 




he Rev. Sylvester Hutchinson was the third of 
four brothers, all of whom became Methodist 
preachers. Three of the four were itinerants. As- 
bury was a friend to this family, and mentions in his journal 
the grandmother of these brothers, Ann Hutchinson, who 
died nearly 102 years of age. 

Sylvester Hutchinson was born in the town of Milford, 
X. J. ? April 20, 1765. At the age of twenty-one he was con- 
victed of sin, and sought forgiveness through Jesus Christ. 
His experience was peculiar, but of a character more com- 
mon in his day than now. It is related that he saw an ap- 
pearance "at the head of his bed, which he believed to be the 
figure of Christ. This at once satisfied him, and he no more 
doubted." 1 

Two or three years later he began his career as an itiner- 
ant preacher, which is briefly rcorded in the following list of 

APPOINTMENTS: 1789, Salem, N. J., with Simeon Pile and Jethro 
Johnson; 1790, ordained deacon, — Chester, Penn., with John Cooper; 1791, 
Fells Point, Md.; 1792, "Wilmington, Del.; 1793, ordained elder, — Croton cir., 
N. Y., with Jacob Egbert; 1794, Croton and New Rochelle cir., with P Mori- 
arty and D. Dennis — to change every three months with L. M'Combs of New 
York and Brooklyn; 1795, Pong Island cir., six months; 1796-1797, associ- 
ate elder with F Garrettson in a district including Long Island, New York 
city, and the state of Conn. ; 1798-1799, in charge of a presiding elder's dis- 
trict including Long Island and most of the territory between the Pludson and 
Connecticut rivers; 1800, New York, with John M'Claskeyand John Lee; 1801, 
traveling with Bishop Whatcoat; 1802, named as an elder, — no appointment; 
1803, presiding elder, Pittsfield District; 1804, on the list of elders, — no appoint- 
ment named; 1805, not named at all; 1806, a local preacher. 

We have no record or tradition of his preaching in Sands- 
street church, but have occasional glimpses of him while trav- 

1 Atkinson — Memorials of Methodism in New Jersey, p. 425. 

Record of Ministers. J39 

ding the large district in which Brooklyn was included. He 
signed, as presiding elder, Daniel Webb's first license to preach, 
on the recommendation of a quarterly conference held in Nor- 
wich, Conn., New London circuit, June 16, 1798. 2 

Father Boehm knew and remembered this earnest itinerant 
and wrote of him as a "thundering preacher." 3 Clark, in his 
"Life of Hedding," makes honorable mention of Sylvester Hutch- 
inson, as presiding elder on the Pittsfield district in 1799, and 
characterizes him as a man of burning zeal and indomitable 
energy. He says : 

Mounted upon his favorite horse, he would ride through the entire district 
once in three months, visiting each circuit, and invariably filling his numerous 
appointments. His voice rang like a trumpet-blast. 

While on this district he penetrated into the far north. Ray- 
bold draws a vivid picture of the pioneer preacher lost in a 
dense Canadian forest in the dead of winter, and providentially 
rescued from the greedy wolves at two o'clock at night, nearly 
dead from cold and hunger, having traveled all day without 
food. 4 Such incidents illustrate the wonderful zeal and energy 
of this man of God. It is known that he often rode fifty or 
sixty miles per day, and preached twice, when his receipts were 
only thirty dollars a year. 

Dr. Wakeley describes him as a small, spare man, with a very 
intelligent countenance, an able minister, a son of thunder, and 
at times exceedingly "rough." He tells us that when preaching 

He would sometimes begin in a low tone of voice, and then raise it to the 
highest pitch, till he screamed, and then it was rather disagreeable. 5 

The statement by the same authority, that Mr. Hutchinson's 
location was occasioned by mental suffering produced by the 
breaking up of a matrimonial engagement, and that his subse- 
quent history shows the danger of locating, has elicited the fol- 
lowing comment: 

It is impossible to get all the facts at this late day which would give a true 
history of his location. The widow and son, however, recollect distinctly 

2 The original copy of this certificate of license is now in the archives of the 
New England Methodist Historical Society. 

3 Boehm's Reminiscences, p. 25. 

4 See " Methodism in West Jersey," pp. 19-21. 

5 " Lost Chapters," p. 532. 


140 Old Sands Street Church. 

having heard him say over and over again that Mr. Asbury was to blame for 
his leaving the Church. He said he was in the good graces of Mr. Asbury 
until the difficulty occurred about his marriage : that he was to marry a young 
lady belonging to an influential family, and the friends, especially one brother, 
made such desperate opposition, that the engagement was broken off the day 
the wedding was to have taken place ; that Mr. Asbury reprimanded him se- 
verely for not marrying the girl at all hazards, as he was engaged to her ; that 
both of them being of good metal, they had a warm time ; that Sylvester came 
home on a visit, and that Mr. Asbury had his name left off the Minutes. 6 

According to a further statement by his son, 

He remonstrated with Mr. Asbury for having done it, and offered to con- 
tinue in the ministry. Mr. Asbury finally offered him a circuit, but it was one 
in which he was not acceptable to the people. There was also another preacher, 
who was not very acceptable where he had been sent, and Mr. H. and he pro- 
posed to Mr. Asbury that they should be changed. But this was refused, and 
turning to Mr. H., he said, "Go there, or go home;" to which Mr. H. an- 
swered, " Then I must go home; " and thus ended his connection with the M. 
E. Church. 7 

He went West and entered into a land agency ; he also became 
a book publisher in Trenton, N. J. 8 On the 10th of May, 1808, 
he was married to Miss Phcebe Phillips. 

He was one of the three preachers who ordained the first 
elders in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, in 
1822. 9 It is doubtful if he was regularly connected with any 
Church at that time. He at length became one of the minis- 
ters of the Methodist Protestant Church, but that denomination 
was not organized until a score of years after he parted with 
Asbury. Atkinson states that the last station he filled was the 
Kensington Methodist Protestant Church, in Philadelphia. 
Mr. Beegle adds: 

Before he died his wife asked him if he had not better come back to the old 
Church. He expressed himself perfectly willing, but his death occurring soon 
after, it was never consummated. 

The same writer strongly repels any intimation which may 
be contained in Dr. Wakeley s book, that Mr. Hutchinson was 
not good and true to the last. At the age of seventy years, 
on the nth of November, 1840, Sylvester Hutchinson finished 
his earthly life. A tombstone marks the place where his 

6 Rev. H. B. Beegle in Atkinson's " New Jersey Methodism," p. 425. 

' See Atkinson's " Memorials." 8 Wakeley—" Lost Chapters," p. 531. 

9 Rush — Rise of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, p. 78. 

Record of Ministers. I4I 

remains are buried in the cemetery in the borough of Hights- 
totvn, N. J. 

His wife, Phcebe Hutchinson, was born January 19, 1782, 
and died about 1865, in the eighty-fourth year of her age. She 
is buried in Hightstown, N. J. From Atkinson's " Memorials " 
we learn that she was a very estimable woman. 10 Four sons and 
three daughters were born to Sylvester and Phoebe Hutchinson. 
Their names were John K., Aaron, Isaac, Elizabeth, Cornelia, 
Armenia and Daniel P. , all of whom lived to maturity. One of 
these seven children, John K. Hutchinson, of New Brunswick, 
N. J., was the only survivor, January 3, 1882, when he wrote the 
above statement concerning the family. His children — a son 
and two daughters — and the son and daughter of his sister, 
Cornelia, are the only grandchildren of Sylvester and Phcebe 

10 Her son, John K. Hutchinson, in a letter to the author, states that Mr. 
Leclnum is manifestly mistaken in saying that Sylvester Hutchinson married 
Sarah Deveau, of New Rochelle, X. Y. See '"Rise of Methodism," p. 103. 


he Rev Andrew Nichols was a Methodist pastor 
in Brooklyn in 1798. During his administration 
the oldest known list of members was written in 
a substantial book procured for the purpose. From that 
book his signature was taken. 

It is probably too late to rescue from oblivion the material 
for a full sketch of his life. Of his history either before or 
after the ten years of his itinerant ministry nothing seems 
to be known. The following is his 

PASTORAL RECORD: 1791, Baltimore dr., Md., with J. Lurton; 
1792, Harford cir., with J. Lurton; 1793, Prince George's cir. ; 1794, ordained 
deacon, — Fairfax cir., Va., with Elijah Sparks; 1795, ordained elder, — Win- 
chester cir., Va., with T Lucas; 1796, New York, with George Roberts; 1797, 
Long Island, Comae and Southold cir.; 1 1798, Brooklyn; 1799, Lynn and 
Marblehead, Mass., 1800, Merrimac; 1801, located. 

Such a list of appointments speaks well for his ability and 
standing as a preacher. Aside from this record, perhaps the 
only direct testimony that has come down to us is the fol- 
lowing by Dr. J. B. Wakeley: 

Mr. Nichols was an excellent man and a good pastor and preacher. I have 
heard the old Methodists speak highly of him. lie resided in the parsonage 
at Second-street, (now Forsyth- street.) They were going to hold a love-feast 
in the church one evening, and two lads wished to go in. In those days the 
Methodists were very careful who were admitted to them. The doors were 
closed, and none were admitted unless they had a ticket of membership or a per- 
mit from the preacher. Peter Parks was then sextcn. The boys concluded if they 
volunteered to help him bring water and attend to making the fires, he would 
admit them into love-feast. Neither of them had ever attended such a meet- 
ing. He sent them to Mr. Nichols for a permit, fcr he could admit none with- 
out. They went to Mr. Nichols, and he treated them very kindly, and gave 

1 I'.rooklyn is added in the Minutes, but the Quarterly Conference records of 
the Long Island circuit indicate that Brooklyn was separate, and under the 
charge of W'm. Phoebus. 

Record of Ministers. 143 

them permits. The love- feasts in those days were meetings of great power. 
One of the boys was deaf and dumb. He was all attention as the people, 
one after another, gave in their testimony; he watched the motion of their 
lips, and saw the expression of joy in their countenances; and, though he could 
not hear one word, it had a powerful effect, and was the means of his awak- 
ening and conversion to God. He was as happy as a king. They might have 
sung, with great propriety : 

" Hear him, ye deaf ; his praise, ye dumb, 
Your loosened tongues employ." 2 

The companion of the little deaf-mute was led by him to the 
Saviour; both immediately joined the Church; and both lived 
sixty years or more afterward, to thank God for that love-feast, 
and to tell the story of Mr. Nichols* kindness to the boys. If 
there is any other written or printed reference to him, it is not 
known to the author. 3 Several Methodist historical societies 
have been established within the territory in which he labored 
as a preacher, and it is to be sincerely hoped that the Church will 
yet come into possession of further information concerning the 
life and death of this excellent minister of Jesus Christ. 

2 " Lost Chapters," p. 485. 

3 "Zion y s Herald," January 4, 1824, refers to an address by Andrew Nich- 
ols, Esq., before the Essex Agricultural Society. If this were proved to be 
the same Andrew Nichols, (which is doubtful,) it might furnish a clew for the 
ascertaining of additional facts concerning him. 


he Rev. Cyrus Stebbins, D. D. was the son of Phin- 
eas and Anna Stebbins. He was born in Wilbra- 
ham, Mass., Oct. 30, 1772, and joined Conference at 
New London, in July, 1795, before he was twenty-three 
years of age. His entire ministry, first among the Method- 
ists, and then in the Protestant Episcopal Church, may be 
epitomized in the following 

PASTORAL RECORD: 1795, Warren dr., R. I., with Zadok Priest; 
1796, ordained deacon, — Readfield cir., Me., with J, Broadhead; 1797, Pitts- 
field cir., Mass., with E. Stevens; 1798, ordained elder, — New York city, with 
Joshua Wells and George Roberts; 1799, Brooklyn; 1 1800-1803, Albany city; 5 
1804, (N. York Conf.,) Brooklyn; 1805, reported "withdrawn;" 1805-1818, 
rector of St. George's Church, Schenectady, N. Y. ; 1819-1831, rector of Christ 
Church, Hudson; 1 832-1 841, rector of Grace Church, Waterford. 

He was deservedly popular in the early days of his itiner- 
ant ministry. Dr. Abel Stevens says: 

He was a pungent and powerful preacher; some of his sermons are still often 
recalled in conversation by our older ministers in New England, one of them 
particularly, preached under the trees of the old homestead of Pickering on the 
text: "Those mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, 
bring hither and slay them before me." The whole assembly stood ap- 
palled at the declaration of divine wrath against all ungodliness; trembling 
spread throughout their midst, and many went home to call on God and prepare 
for his coming retribution. Had he remained in the itinerancy, his peculiar tal- 
ents would have secured for him an extended influence and usefulness, but on 
leaving it, he entered the Protestant Episcopal Church, where he lingered 
through many years of comparative uselessness, and died in obscurity. 3 

1 The Conference Minutes say "Brooklyn and Long Island, with James Camp- 
bell and John Wilson," but the quarterly conference records show that the 
charges were practically separate. 

2 Strange as it may appear to us now, Albany and the Mohawk and Black 
River regions were in 1802-1803, included in the Philadelphia Conference. Af- 
ter 1803 they became a part of the New York conference. 

8 Memorials of Methodism, 1st series, p. 339, 

Record of Ministers. I45 

As we have already observed in our sketch of Aaron 
Hunt, Mr. Stebbins caused Bishop Asbury no little anxiety on 
account of the difficulty of removing him from Albany city 
station, which, indeed, the bishop could not or did not do until 
the close of a four-years term, when the adoption of the two- 
years limit by the General Conference made his removal neces- 
sary and practicable. We here discover, as in almost every 
other instance in which he appears to our view, a want of the 
genuine spirit of Methodism. In the few references to him by 
the historians of the denomination, they invariably speak of 
his lack of harmony with our prominent peculiarities, and the 
consistency of his course in withdrawing from us. William 
Thacher makes the following note of the doings of the New 
York Conference in 1804: 

On the sixth day of our session the subject of sanctification was called up, 
and Stebbins, its enemy, came on with his objections. 4 

Lorenzo Dow, as we could readily believe from our knowl- 
edge of the two men, found no admirer of his eccentricities in 
Cyrus Stebbins. He says : 

June, 1804. Cyrus Stebbins objected to my preaching where he was 
stationed, [Albany,] though the trustees were mostly friendly. He withdrew 
from the connection soon after, which showed what spirit he was of. August, 
1804. When I arrived in Albany the preaching-house doors, which had been 
shut in Stebbins' time, were now open. 5 

During his first term in Brooklyn (1799) the membership di- 
minished; but his return, four years later, and the enlargement 
of the church building during that term, would indicate pros- 

The Rev. George Ccles, who was pastor of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church in Hudson, N. Y., in 1822, without any definite 
knowledge of Mr. Stebbins' antecedents, makes a very charitable 
mention of him as the rector of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in that place, who had formerly been a Methodist preacher. 6 
While in Hudson he received the honorary title of D.D. from 
Trinity College, of Hartford, Bishop Brownell then being pres- 
ident, and a personal friend. 7 

4 Manuscript autobiography. 

5 Dow's Journal, old edition, pp. 176, 178. 

6 See " My First Seven Years in America," p. 249. 
' Letter of G. N. Stebbins to the author. 

146 Old Sands Street Church. 

The following statement, by the Rev. Frank L. Wilson, is im- 
portant : 

I learn from reliable sources that, notwithstanding he was regarded by his 
con"re°-ation in Hudson as a very able preacher, his resignation was request- 
ed on account of his habits of drinking. He was married twice. His last 
marriage proved unhappy, which is believed to account for his intemperate 
habits. 8 He is remembered as a man inclined to portliness, short, broad- 
shouldered, and remarkably social. He had two sons and one daughter. One 
son, Cyrus Stebbins, a noted and talented lawyer, fell a victim to drink, and 
died in New York. The daughter married a Roman Catholic and became a 
convert to that faith. The other son, George N., is connected with the 
Washington Life Insurance Company in New York city. 9 

Dr. Stebbins died in Waterford, N. Y., February 8, 1841, in 
the sixty-ninth year of his age. Bishop B. T Onderdonk, in re- 
porting his death at the Annual Convention, said : 

He closed the life of a devout Christian, a faithful minister of Jesus, and a 
divine of more than ordinary ability, by a truly Christian death, the approach 
of which, by a lingering and painful disease, was met as the spirit and armor 
supplied by Christ can alone enable the Christian to meet the king of terrors. 10 

The above somewhat but not greatly modifies Dr. Abel 
Stevens' statement that, "after entering the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church, he lingered through many years of comparative 
uselessness, and died in obscurity." This statement was made 
in view of the remarkably bright promise of his earlier years. 
His remains were buried in the St. George's church-yard, 
Schenectady, N. Y. 

8 It may be that in later years he obtained the mastery over this besetment. 

9 Letter to the author. 

10 Journals of Conventions, N. Y. State, 1841, p. 59. 



e have already made note of a sermon preached by 
the Rev. David Buck in 1794, on the foundation 
of the or.o-'.nal Sands-street church 1 efore the 
)uilding was completed. He afterward spent two of the 
nine years of his itinerant ministry as pastor of this church. 
He was born in the town of Freehold, Monmouth Co., 
N. J., Sept. 12, 1771. "His father's name was Ephraim Buck, 
and both he and his wife were devoted Methodists, as well 
as ardent patriots in the Revolution. So decided were 
they in favor of American independence, and so confident 
of its final success, that all the gold and silver money they 
had was exchanged for continental money in bills, put into 
jars and buried in the cellar." 1 

"Yfhen David Buck was about eighteen years of age, he 
embraced the Lord Jesus by faith." 2 At the age of twenty- 
three he began to travel his first circuit as a conference 

ITINERANT RECORD: 1794, (New York Conf.) Delaware dr., N. Y., 
with R. Dillon; 1795, Newburgh cir. , with M. Swaim; 1796, ord. deacon, — 
Long Island cir. ; 1797, Redding cir. , Conn., with A. Jocelyn; 179S, elected 
to elder's orders, but not o*rdained on account of the sickness and absence of 
Bishop Absury, 3 — no appointment named; 1799, ordained elder, — Albany city; 
1800-1801, Brooklyn; 1802, Long Island cir., with J. Fennegan and Sylves- 
ter Foster, 1803; local. 

The author has frequently heard his name mentioned by 
aged residents of Southold, L. I., whose fathers and moth- 
ers were converted under his ministry. Having taken a wife, 
and his health being infirm, he felt obliged to locate, but a- 
bated not in the least degree his zeal in his Master's work. 

1 Letter of Rev. Valentine Buck to the author. 

2 Rev. Elijah Hebard in Methodist Magazine, 1823, p. 279. 3 II- id- 

148 Old Sands Street Church. 

He settled in Hempstead Harbor, (now Roslyn,) and, in com- 
pany with his father-in-law, William Valentine, and his brother- 
in-law, he purchased the paper-mill property, including the 
"old mill" in which Bishop Asbury preached, and which 
served as a preaching-place for many years. 

His son, the Rev. Valentine Buck, himself now a veteran in 
the New York Conference, writes : 

My father's house was, from my earliest recollection, the stopping-place of 
all the Methodist preachers on the Jamaica circuit, and of all others who 
chanced to be passing through the place. As a local preacher he was in 
labors abundant, preaching not only at Roslyn, but also at Searingtown, 
Herrick's, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Jamaica, and various other places; and 
his labors were always gratuitous. 4 

After twenty years' residence and ministry among the people, 
his popularity had not waned ; and, as one of his brethren writes, 

Few preachers could collect larger congregations of attentive and willing 
hearers. He was a powerful preacher. At quarterly meetings and camp- 
meetings, wherever he spoke, he was heard with interest and delight. God 
was with him, and the sacred unction usually attended his word, and hun- 
dreds on this island have reason to thank God that they ever heard him pro- 
claim the message of salvation. 5 

The old Jamaica circuit quarterly conference record book 
bears testimony to the fidelity and ability with which for many 
years he discharged the duties of recording steward. 

In the year 1822, three years after the establishment of the 
Methodist Missionary Society, he wrote to the Corresponding 
Secretary, announcing the formation of an auxiliary society on 
the Jamaica circuit, of which he was one of the officers. The 
following extract reveals the character and spirit of the man : 

This institution is, it is true, in its infancy, and its funds but small; but our 
expectations are large. The interest already excited in the hearts of our 
brethren gives us reason to hope that this infant society will arrive to 
manhood, and become a powerful auxiliary to the parent institution. Dear 
brother, * * * if I possessed the energy and activity I did in 1793, when I 
first entered the traveling connection, I would hasten with cheerfulness to the 
heathen and savage tribes, to preach unto them a risen Saviour. That sys- 
tem of doctrine and discipline so zealously enforced by our venerable prede- 
cessors in the ministry must ultimately prevail. The prospect brightens ! 
The fields are white ; and although age and infirmities confine me to a more 

4 Letter to the author. 

B Hebard in " Methodist Magazine." 

Record of Ministers. 149 

circumscribed field of action, yet I rejoice that God is raising up young men 
in every section of our country who are able to take the field, and who will, 
I hope, transmit to posterity the unsullied doctrines of the Gospel so success- 
fully taught by Wesley and his immediate successors in the ministry. Halle- 
lujah ! The Lord God omnipotent reigneth ! 

David Buck, Secretary* 

His old complaint, the gravel, aggravated by a violent cold, 
was the cause of his death. His suffering was extreme, but he 
endured uncomplainingly, expressing concern lest he should 
exhibit impatience, and at the same time giving utterance to 
his unwavering faith in God, and sweet hopes of everlasting 
rest. The author of his obituary records the words he uttered 
concerning his departure to his wife, his niece, Ruth Searing, 
and his son Valentine ; and then adds : 

When spoken to afterward by Sister Starkins, he said : " My conscience is 
pure; there is nothing that I have cause to fear or dread." These were his 
last words, and about one o'clock on Friday morning, May 2, 1823, his im- 
mortal spirit fled, we have reason to believe, to the mansions of the just. 7 

He was fifty-one years of age. 8 He sleeps in one of the old- 
est Methodist burial-grounds on Long Island, close beside the 
little Searingtown church, in which he preached the Gospel as 
long ago as 1796. 

Nancy Valentine was married to Mr. Buck about the time 
of the close of his itinerant labors, hence she never shared them 
with him; but she was a valued friend of the itinerants for many 
years, and gladly ministered to their wants, making her home 
a cheerful and comfortable retreat for them always. She sur- 
vived her husband twenty-four years, and died at the resi- 
dence of her brother-in-law, Cornelius Westlake, in Newtown, 
(now Brooklyn,) November 9, 1847, in the seventy-ninth year 
of her age. She was buried beside her husband. 

'"Methodist Magazine," 1822, p. 120. 
■' Hehard. 

8 If copied correctly, the inscription on his tombstone says he had attained 
his fifty-fifth year. 


fter five years of itinerant labors, divided between 
the states of Maine, Mass., Conn, and New York, 
the Rev. Peter Jayne was appointed to Brook- 
lyn, — the successor of David Buck. He had traveled the 
Long Island circuit the previous year, and as the Minutes 
indicate, occasionally exchanged with the Brooklyn pastor. 
The signature is from the trustees' record book of Sands- 
street, and was written in 1802. 

He was born in Marblehead, Mass., March 16, 1778. 1 Peter 
Jayne, his father, was a school teacher in Marblehead for 
many years, and attended the Congregational church. His 
mother's name was Dorothy The elder Peter Jayne died in 
1784, when the son was but six years of age, as we learn from 
the town records of Marblehead. 2 Six years subsequently 
__^e widow was married to Joshua Prentice. 

An upper room was fitted up for Methodist meetings in 
thtir house, where it is believed the first Methodist society in 
Marblehead was organized. The name of Dorothy Prentice 
stands first on the list of seven females who formed the orig- 
inal class. 3 

Jesse Lee writes in his journal: 

October 28, 1794: We proceeded to Marblehead to quarterly meeting. We 
held love-feast in Brother Prentice's house, and a few people spoke with life 
and freedom. The company was melted to tears. I was pleased to find them 
so much engaged in religion. Afterward we held watch-night; I preached 
and brother Ketcham exhorted. 

1 Town Records. 

2 These facts were gathered from the records by the Rev. Joseph Candlin. 

3 Candlin 's Historic Sketch. 

Record of Ministers. T 5 x 

It was probably in one of these meetings that Peter Jayne, a 
youth of sixteen years, first made a confession of Christ. He 
was " licensed " by the quarterly conference of Lynn, 4 and when 
about eighteen years of age began to travel a circuit. 5 The fol- 
lowing is his published 

ITINERANT RECORD : 1797, (New York Conf.,) Middletown dr., 
Conn., with M. Coate ; 1798, ordained deacon — Pleasant River, Me.; 1799* 
Granville cir., Mass. and Conn., with E. Batchelor ; 1800, ordained elder— 
Dutchess cir., N. Y., with W. Thacher ; 1801, Long Island cir., with Billy 
Hibbard; 6 1802, Brooklyn; 1803-1804, (N. E. Conf.,) Lynn, Mass. ; 1805- 
1806, Boston, with Reuben Hubbard and Samuel Merwin. 

Contrary to the custom of the itinerants of those times, he was 
married during the first or second year of his ministry. While 
stationed in Lynn he preached and published a discourse, en- 
titled " The Substance, of a Sermon preached at Lynn, in the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Churchy on the First Day of December, 1803, being 
the Day of Publick Thanksgiving for the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts s and now made publick at the request of several of 
the hearers and others. By P Jayne, Minister of said Church. 
Salem." Printed by William Carlton, 1803. 7 In the preface 
he says : 

* You will discover from the contents [of this discourse,] no doubt, that I am 
not entirely destitute of national pride, if such it may be termed, to feel pecul- 
iar attachment to the country that has brought us forth. * * * I hope no 
one will feel disposed to censure my attachment to the present administration, 
(when it is remembered that I am a member of a Church that has long been 
looked upon with an eye of contempt,) inasmuch as the administration which 
at present exists knows no one denomination more than another, or in prefer- 
ence to another. Here we all are equal, and have the vast field of action be- 
fore us, and stand or fall according to our character in the religious world. 
Do we wish for pre-eminence ? We must obtain it by our virtue and piety. 

The sermon is founded upon Psalm cxlvii, 20 : " He hath not 
dealt so with any nation. Praise ye the Lord." His patriotic 
pride is plainly expressed in the following sentences : 

4 Quarterly Conference record. A score or more of preachers were sent out 
by that church. See Memorial Sermon by Rev. Dr. Chas. Adams, 1841. 

5 Minutes of Conferences, 1807, p. 146. 

6 While the Minutes indicate that Brooklyn was included in his charge in 
1801, the quarterly conference records of both charges show that he received 
his support entirely from the L. I. circuit, and although, perhaps, exchanging 
at times with the Brooklyn preacher, he was not considered pastor of that 
church until 1802. 

T A pamphlet of 13 pp., in the library of the New England Methodist His- 
torical Society, Boston. 

152 Old Sands Street Chiwch. 

We are all blessed with liberty, free from anarchy ; a freedom not only to dis- 
pose of the labors of our hands as we please, but also to worship God according 
to the disposition of our minds. Free in body, free in mind, we are not 
necessitated to sacrifice our c jnscience or our interest to the caprice of a land- 
lord who is adding field to field till there is no place for the poor to dwell but 
at his covetous disposal. * * * We are a nation of kings ; the authority is 
vested in us all, generally speaking, according to our capacity and merit. 
No one presumes to govern us, or claim an exclusive right over us, upon the 
principle that his father hath left us to him as an estate. We are not sub- 
ject, therefore, to be governed by an idiot, or an infant of days, or what in its 
nature is far more impious, and in its consequences far more pernicious to 
society, by corrupt courtiers. Will any raise themselves to posts of honor and 
dignity amongst us? They must graduate by their wisdom and merit ; then they 
must have an eye upon their conduct, lest the same authority that invested 
them with power should divest them of it. So that, strictly speaking, while 
they rule they are our servants. Honorable station, to both rule and serve a 
nation of kings. 

In thankfulness for spiritual blessings, he adds : 

While the spirit, the pacific spirit of grace, has prevailed the past year in the 
accession of thousands of perishing sinners who have witnessed to the power 
of God to save in the Southern States, the windows of heaven have not been 
altogether closed to us in the Northern, especially in this commonwealth ; so 
that, while the South is giving up, the North reverberates, and will no longer 
keep back. Surely America will become a mountain of holiness, a dwelling- 
place of peace with truth and righteousness. Amen. Even so, Lord Jesus. 

He laid the corner-stone of the old Bromfield-street church, 
in Boston, in 1806. 8 On the fifth of September, that same year, 
he was called home from his useful labors in the city of Boston, 
a young man of twenty-eight. " His early death was deplored 
by his brethren as the eclipse of a morning star." 9 The follow- 
ing item concerning his grave is from an article published in 
Zion's Herald several years ago : 

Mr. Samuel Burrill was the richest man in the society, [First Methodist 
Episcopal church in Boston,] owned his house, his shop, and other real 
estate, and was evidently a man of standing in the community. He owned a 
tomb in Copp's Hill burial-ground, and in that (then) new tomb was laid Rev. 
Peter Jayne, of blessed memory — Jayne, who, on the 15th of April, 1806, laid 
the corner-stone of the Methodist chapel in Bromfield's lane, now Bromfield- 
street church. The next year, 1807, the owner of the tomb became an 

8 Stevens — Memorials of Methodism, p. 286. 

9 M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopaedia. 

Record of Ministers^ 1 5 3 

Willard S. Allen writes : 

This old burial-ground is in the " North End " of Boston. The tomb may 
still be seen on the Snow Hill-street side of the burying ground, bearing the 
name of John H. Pitman ; no inscription appertaining to Peter Jayne. 

Mr. Jayne is said to have labored under the embarrassment 
of "a deafness not common to a man of his years," 8 and yet, 
despite this infirmity, he rendered himself eminently acceptable. 
We have no portrait from which to judge of his personal ap- 
pearance. He is described as "a handsome man, well- 
proportioned, with dark hair, refined and elegant in his 
manner." * 

The following brief notice of him is found in the writings of 
Abel Stevens : 

Peter Jayne was a well-beloved hope of the Church, a man of rare abilities 
and excellent qualities. His mind was capacious and critical, his information 
extensive, his style severe and forcible, his piety profound and uniform, and 
his manners were distinguished by a frankness and sincerity which marked 
him on all occasions. We regret that the resources of our information are so 
inadequate to the merits of such a man. 10 

Sarah, (Clark,) the wife of Peter Jayne, survived him nearly 
forty years, and died the beloved and lamented widow of the 
Rev Samuel Merwin. Her memorial is given in connection 
with the sketch of Samuel Merwin in this work. 

We are indebted to the Rev. J. B. Merwin, D.D., for the fol- 
lowing item concerning the three children of Peter and Sarah 
Jayne : 

Peter, the oldest, named after his father, was a son of great promise. While 
on a trip to Albany, on a commercial enterprise of his own, at the age of 
fifteen, he was knocked overboard by the boom and drowned. The older of 
the two daughters was adopted by her grandmother in Marblehead, married, 
and is now deceased. Eliza, the younger, was in, our family as one of us. 
Until we were quite large we did not know that she was not our full sister. 
She was married to Mr. Chappell, in Baltimore, while my father was stationed 

8 Conference Minutes, 1807, p. 146. 

9 This account of him was given to the author by the Rev. Dr. J. B. Merwin. 

10 Memorials of Methodism, first series, p. 392. 


he Rev. Ezekiel Canfield was a noble specimen 
of the rank and file of early Methodist preachers. 
Stevens eulogizes him as "a veteran, mighty in la- 
bors if not in talents." 1 The records show that he was the 
successor of Peter Jayne in Brooklyn in 1803. 

He was born in Salisbury, Conn., March 16, 1767. John 
Tooker, of Gloversville, N. Y., writes: 

Ezekiel Canfield was my great-uncle. A friend, Mr. Wm. Cozens, who knew 
his parents, says that his father's name was Jonathan, and he thinks that both 
the parents were Methodists. 2 

The Minutes say that when twenty-four years of age "he 
was made a witness of justifying grace, and joined the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church." The following is his 

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1794, Herkimer and Otsego dr., N. Y., 
with S. Weeks and John Wooster; 1795, Cambridge dr., with S. Fowler; 1796, 
ordained deacon, — New Rochelle and Croton dr., with Joseph Totten and Da- 
vid Brown; 1797, Litchfield dr., Conn. , with Wm. Thacher; 1798. Granville 
cir. , Mass., with Daniel Webb; 1799, ordained elder, — Warren and Greenwich 
dr., R. I., with J. Hall and T. Bishop; 1800, Cambridge cir., N. Y. , with E. 
Stevens; 1801, Brandon dr., Vt. , with E. Washburn; 1802, not named on the 
list of appointments; 1803, Brooklyn; 1804, Albany city; 1805, sup'y; 1806, 
ditto, New Rochelle cir., N. Y., with Joseph Crawford and Henry Redstone; 
1807, ditto, with Billy Hibbard, M. B. Bull and H. Redstone; 1808, ditto, with 
Billy Hibbard and Zalmon Lyon; 1809, Croton dr., N. Y., with J. Lyon; 1810, 
Cortland cir., with Billy Hibbard; 1811, Suffolk dr., with S. Bushnell, 1812, 
Montgomery dr., with Francis Brown; 18 13, New Windsor cir., with N. Em- 
ery; 1814, Newburgh dr.. with Z. Lyon; 1815, Croton cir., with Aaron Hunt; 
1816, ditto; with Jesse Hunt; 1817, Stratford, Conn., with Reuben Harris; 
1818, Goshen cir., with D. Ensign and T. Benedict; 1819, ditto, with D. En- 
sign; 1820-1825, superannuated. 

Billy Hjbbard in his autobiography mentions him as his 
colleague — a single man — in 1808. One year later, April 26, 
1809, at the age of forty-two, he was married to Miss Alice 
Stow of Middletown, Conn. 8 

1 Memorials of Methodism, p. 387. 8 Letter to the author. 

3 Town Records. 

Record of Ministers. ice 

The late pastor in West Goshen, Conn., writes 

The old records of this charge were burned in a dwelling-house, but it is 
definitely known that Ezekiel C infield was twice on this charge, and he was 
the first Methodist who preached in the town. He delivered a sermon in a 
private house, standing on a half-bushel measure. This I learn from an old 
lady who was personally acquainted with him. 4 

His last days were spent in Mayfield, Montgomery county, 
N. Y., the home of his parents and other kindred. His life 
wore away with great suffering, which he endured with remark- 
able patience and resignation. " He declared that his faith was 
as unshaken as the pillars of heaven." With the prayer, "O 
Father, take me to thyself," trembling upon his lips, he passed 
on to his home in the skies, October 16, 1825, in the fifty-ninth 
year of his age. His funeral was attended by the Rev. Jacob 
Beeman, and his mortal form was laid in the Riceville ceme- 
tery, in the town of Mayfield. A tombstone marks his grave. 

Ezekiel Canfield was a man of slender build, " a good off- 
hand speaker," modest in his deportment, cheerful and affable 
in his conversation, firm in his attachment to his friends, and 
plain and experimental in his preaching. 6 

Alice, his wife, was the daughter of Solomon, Jr., and Alice 
(Abbott) Stow, of Middletown, Conn. She was converted in 
early life. Her husband found in her a faithful and useful sharer 
in his toils. After his death she returned to her childhood 
home, where she lived many years, esteemed and respected by 
all her acquaintances. Some are yet living in Middletown who 
distinctly remember "the little old lady," and often attended 
class-meetings in her House. 

She died September 7, 1849, a § e d nearly seventy-six years. 
So sweetly did she fall asleep that one who watched her knew 
not the moment of her departure. Her last words were " Peace ! 
peace! peace ! " 7 She is buried in the Mortimer cemetery, in 
Middletown, Conn. 

4 Rev. George W Hughes, — Letter to the author. 

6 Conference Minutes, 1826, p. 509. 

7 See The Christian Advocate and Journal, 1849. 



ands Street Church numbered among her early 
pastors and presiding elders none more energetic 
and efficient than the Rev William Thacher. 
Chief among the events of his ministry in Brooklyn was the 
erection of the "Old White Church." 

He was born in Norwalk, Conn., April 3, 1769. His pa- 
rents were decided adherents to the creed of the Congrega- 
tional Church to which they belonged, and he and his two 
brothers were trained in the principles of piety. When a 
child of six years he declared his purpose to become a 
preacher. Two years later both his parents were removed 
by death. His father's dying request to a brother who ex- 
pected to adopt him as a son, was to have him graduate at 
Yale College, and study for the ministry. His uncle died, 
and he never went to college; nevertheless, by diligent study 
he acquired an excellent education. 

He began to learn the tailor's trade in New Haven at four- 
teen years of age. Five years later, (1788,) he removed to 
New York, where he attended a meeting among the Method- 
ists for the first time, and heard one of their ministers preach. 
Though unconverted, he admired the simplicity and zeal of 
that people, and his prejudice against them was thoroughly 

At twenty years of age he was living with the family of a 
Methodist class leader and exhorter in the city of Baltimore. 
By these" favorable associations he was influenced to become 
a Christian, and was admitted by Henry Willis to probation 
in the Methodist Episcopal Church, June 19, 1790. The fol- 
lowing October he went to reside in the parish of Ripton, 
Fairfield Co., Conn., where the civil officers were peti- 
tioned to warn him to leave the town because he was a 




Record of Ministers. 157 

Methodist. 1 There he saw a member of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, who lived seven miles away, and who invited him 
to a meeting held by that people near his home. He soon re- 
moved to New York, taking with him the following letter, writ- 
ten by the apostle of Methodism in the New England States : 

The bearer, William Thacher, calls himself a Methodist, and I hope he is 
a steady, well-meaning person. Jesse Lee. 

He joined a ciass in the John-street church which met Sab- 
bath morning at sunrise. He married Miss Anna Mtmson, of 
New Haven, and took up his residence there. His wife was 
converted one year after their marriage. He states that he 
heard the first Methodist sermon in New Haven, 2 and was one 
of five to form the first Methodist class in that place in 1795, of 
which he was appointed the leader. 3 

He was greatly exercised about preaching the Gospel. He 
writes : 

N. Snethen, who was then our preacher, advised me to exhort, but it soon 
appeared that I could not talk extemporaneously without a text. How dis- 
couraging ! for how shall a man preach a sermon who cannot talk common 
sense five minutes by way of exhortation ? 

Another preacher advising him to take a text, he did so, and 
he gives the following account of his first effort : 

The text came, the day came, the people came, and I came trembling — the 
Lord came and helped me so that I was astonished at my liberty of speech. 

His wife was at first unwilling that he should join the confer- 
ence, but very soon gave her consent, and he entered upon his 
long and useful itinerant career. 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1797, (New York Conf.,) Litchfield cir., 
Conn., with Ezekiel Canfield— the last few months, Pittsfield cir., Mass., with 

1 Manuscript autobiography. His memoir in the Conf. Min. (1857, p. 319) 
locates this incident in New Haven. This is probably a mistake. His own 
record makes no such reference to New Haven. 

2 Jesse Lee was the man who preached the first Methodist sermon in New 
Haven, June 21, 1789. See Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. ii, p. 421. 

3 New Haven was a conference appointment in 1790, and at the close of 
the year reported nine members. If the class formed in 1795 was the first, 
then the membership in 1790 belonged in New Haven circuit, but outside the 
limits of New Haven, which is probably true. It is possible that a class had 
been organized and afterward disbanded, and then it would remain true that 
Thacher and his wife were members of the fast permanent class in that place. 

158 Old Sands Street Church. 

Cyrus Stebbins ; 4 1798, Redding cir., Conn. ; 1799, ordained deacon by Bp. 
Asbury, — Pomfret, cir., Conn , R. I. and Mass. ; 1800, Dutchess cir., N. Y., 
with P. Jayne ; 1801, ordained elder by Bp. Whatcoat, — Dutchess and Colum- 
bia cir., with David Brown and Lorenzo Dow ; 1802, New Rochelle and Cro- 
ton cir., with Geo. Dougharty ; 1803, New Rochelle cir., with A. Hunt ; 1804- 
1806, presiding elder, New York Dist. ; 1807, Middletown, Conn. ; 5 1808, 
New York city, with E. Cooper, John Wilson, F. Ward, L. Andrus, and 
P. Peck ; 1809, ditto, with Eben Smith and Wm. Keith; 1810-1811, Brook- 
lyn, the first year he was to change with F Ward, of Jamaica cir.; 1812, 
Jamaica cir., with Theodosius Clark ; 1813, New Rochelle cir., with Wm. 
Phcebus and O. Sykes; 1814, ditto, with J. Lyon ; 1815, New York, with Wm. 
Phoebus, E. Washburn, M. Richardson, and A. Scholefield ; 1816, ditto, with 
L. Andrus, A. Scholefield, and D. Ostrander ; 1817, Poughkeepsie. did not go ; 
1818-1819, Schenectady ; 1820-1821, New Haven, Conn. ; 1822, (Phila. Conf.) 
Philadelphia, St. George's, with T. Miller and H. G. King ; 1823, ditto, with 
T Burch and D. Parish ; 1824-1825, Newark, N. J. ; 1826, Trenton and 
Bloomsburgh ; 1827, Trenton station ; 1828-1830, presiding elder, Phila. 
Dist. ; 1831-1832, (New York Conf.,) Poughkeepsie ; 1833, New Haven, 
Conn. ; 1834, Newburgh cir., N. Y., with P. R. Brown ; 1835-1836, Hudson 
and Print Works, witn J. Carley ; 1837-1838, Flushing and Hallett's Cove, L. 
I. ; 1839, Williamsburgh and Newtown, with J. Rawson ; 1840, Norwalk and 
New Canaan cir., Conn., with J. A. Silleck ; 1841, Woodbury ; 1842-1843, 
Milan and Pleasant Valley cir., N. Y. ; 1844-1845, Dutchess cir., with Thos. 
Sparks ; 1846-1856, superannuated, residing at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 

When he started out to preach he paid $30 for a horse, and 
bought a second-hand saddle, bridle, and portmanteau. He 
was obliged to leave home with less than a dollar in his pocket, 
and to leave his wife nearly destitute. She and their child 
boarded in her father's family at $1 a week for both, and he 
was to be allowed only $128 salary, with little prospect of ob- 
taining more than one half of that ; but he writes : 

God had called me, and I must obey, nor did I stagger through unbelief. 

He thus describes himself beginning the round of his circuit : 

On a little gray mare, whose bones were prominent, sits a small man, pale 
and thin, dressed in a second-hand gray coat, and light-colored overcoat. The 
people say, " Brother Thacher, neither you nor your horse will stand this cir- 
cuit. The rides are long, roads rough and mountainous — you must both fail." 
In a few months they say, " You have grown as fat as a farmer, and you've 
got a new horse, ha? " The itinerant answers, "No, the same horse and the 
same rider." 6 

* Manuscript autobiography. 

5 In his MS. autobiography he states that Mi-'dletown was then a station 
and not a circuit, as would appear from the Conference Minutes. 
fi Manuscript autobiography. 

Record of Ministers. 159 

A year or two later on the Pomfret circuit, he rejoiced in the 
conversion of many, among whom were four young men who 
afterward became itinerant preachers. 7 

As presiding elder he had charge of " the first camp-meeting 
ever published and held east of the Hudson River." It was held 
in Carmel, N. Y., Sept. 14-17, 1804. He writes concerning it : 

We had endeavored to prepare the ground beforehand, but who had ever 
seen a camp-meeting? Who could show us how to work it? It was like put- 
ting out to sea with captain and crew, all raw hands. But the Lord provided 
for this, also. Rev. Nicholas Snethen, a southern campaigner, and a large 
number of brethren came from New York, with sails of shipping for tents, and 
all provisioned for the four days. What a good instructor was Brother 
Snethen ! Where could I have found such another? He gave directions in 
every thing pertaining to the meeting, and as for preaching, he was a host in 

In the following May he held another camp-meeting on Long 
Island. He says : 

We threw the Long Island quarterly meeting into a camp-meeting form, 
and held it in a place that we knew only by the name of Mosquito Cove. 

Lorenzo Dow was at this meeting, and gives a thrilling ac- 
count of it in his Journal. The New York preachers, Wm. 
Phoebus and Daniel Smith, judging from reports of such meet- 
ings, had been outspoken against them ; but Thacher says : 

They came, they saw, they were conquered ; and is it wonderful that these 
good and wise men should yield to a divine influence which has conquered 
thousands of foolish, bad men ? 

Another meeting in September, the same year, was held in 
Croton, N. Y. An old Methodist writes : 

I heard the Rev. Wm. Thacher give an account of the original act of locat- 
ing the place of the meeting. A large forest had been designated by the 
proprietor for the purpose, and a committee, consisting of Mr. Thacher, the 
presiding elder, J. B. Matthias, then a local preacher of Tarrytown, and Na- 
than Anderson, of Callaborg, a layman, went out to fix the site for the meet- 
ing. When that had been done, and its chief points properly marked, they 
gathered at the foot of a great tree to offer up together a prayer of consecra- 
tion, and to invoke God's blessing upon the work ; and such was the baptism 
of the Spirit they received, that " Barney " Matthias sprang to his feet and ran 
about the grounds, gathering up stones with which to set up an " Ebenezer." 8 

7 Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 441- 

8 The Methodist, New York, Sept. 17, 1881. 

!6o Old Sands Street Church. 

At a similar meeting conducted by Mr. Thacher in Tucka- 
hoe, N. Y., in 1806, Marvin Richardson was converted. Many- 
preachers were there, among whom was Bishop Asbury, who 
said that it excelled any camp-meeting he had ever attended, 
and from it most wonderful revivals spread in every direction. 9 

Wm. Thacher buried his wife in 1807, and in December, the 
following year, he married again. He states that Bishop Asbury 
publicly expressed his disapproval of this marriage, which was a 
sore trial to Thacher. He believed that the bishop was " ill- 
informed by some unfriendly tongue." Thenceforward for 
sixteen consecutive years his family resided in New York, his 
oldest daughter sometimes keeping house for him when his sta- 
tions were distant from that city. 

During his second year in New York, (1809,) Allen-street and 
Bedford-street churches were built. He carried the same en- 
thusiasm for church-building to Brooklyn, and it was almost 
solely through his influence that the " old white church " was 
erected. Not a few were converted under his ministry in Sands- 
street. Among these were Judge Dikeman, who said to the 
author that he was led to seek the Lord undera sermon by Mr. 
Thacher from the text, " For Zion's sake will I not hold my 
peace." Of his appointment to Brooklyn with a monthly change 
for Jamaica circuit, he writes : 

As to the monthly change, we made short work of it. I had the good for- 
tune to be yoked with an unaccommodating and somewhat imperious brother, 
and I chopped the yoke in two, and told him to attend to his circuit, and I 
would mind my station, and risk the issue at the next annual conference. 
This ended the chapter of monthly changes, perhaps at the expense of peace, 
and the cost of some brotherly love. 

He collected money for the rebuilding of John-street church 
in New York in 1816 and 181 7, and was afterward active in 
church-building in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and Hudson. He 
was called " a bishop's favorite," and had a good deal of trouble 
at one time and another. He applied for a supernumerary re- 
lation in 181 7, but the conference, in his absence, refused to 
grant it. His health, as he said, forbade his attending to his 
appointment at Poughkeepsie that year. In 1818 charges were 
brought against him for deserting his post, but they were not 
sustained. His next appointment was Schenectady, where two 

See Richardson's statement in Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol, iv, p. 253. 

Record of Ministers. 161 

revivals occurred in two years, and the membership increased 
from 54 to 190. 

Concerning a public discussion which he held with a Univers- 
alist preacher in Newark, N. J., while stationed there, he says 
that the Universalists themselves acknowledged a defeat. Of 
his relation to the people on the Williamsburgh circuit, his last 
charge on Long Island, he says : 

The leaven of abolition was unhappily working among some of the mem- 
bers. I understood that my colleague [Jas. Rawson] was of that sentiment 
which might be the reason why they were so studious to show that they pre- 
ferred him. This, however, gave me no displeasure. * * * A circum- 
stance occurred that threw light on this mystery. On March 1, 1840, an or- 
der from the presiding elder made me a member of the committee to investi- 
gate charges brought against LeRoy Sunderland, of the New England Con- 
ference, who was editor of the abolition paper, entitled Zion's Watchman, 
then published in New York. The proceedings of said committee were can- 
vassed by that conference, and L. Sunderland had to locate From the time 
that I was appointed on that committee, a change of behavior on the part of 
many of the brethren was visible, resulting in the prevention of my re-appoint- 

When he wrote his autobiography, (about 1850,) he said con- 
cerning " abolition " preachers: 

If they are contending for the truth once delivered to the saints, and their 
salvation depends on their boldness and perseverance, they will be worthy of 
the crown for which they contend ; but if at last it shall be said, " Who hath 
required this at your hands ? " alas for them ! 

He writes at some length of the New York Conference ses- 
sion of 1838, and the abolition discussion. He was strongly on 
the side of the conservatives. He records the suspension of 
three of the score of " abolition preachers " till they should give 
satisfaction to the conference, and says : 


The screws of our government were judiciously applied to some of our good 
brethren, which proved salutary to them and poor Zion's Watchman's ed- 
itor, and all were subjected by able hands to a most severe and just castiga- 
tion. * * * It was time to put in the subsoil plow, in hope of eradicating 
the snap-dragon from the soil. The effect of our measures was salutary. " As 
the partridge setteth on eggs and hatcheth them not," so these zealous 
men have had a long incubation ; there has been warmth enough, and feathers 
in abundance, yet where are the freed men ? What chickens have they hatched ? 

The above reads strangely to us in the light of subsequent 
history. It is not often that our eye falls on a paragraph that 
so clearly unfolds the real animus of the opposition to the anti- 
slavery agitation of those days. Thacher and the larger major- 

1 62 Old Sands Street Church. 

ity of the conference, whose sentiments he thus boldly repre- 
sents, all claimed, of course, to be antislavery men. 

On the day of the seventieth anniversary of his birth, he wrote : 

Shall I superannuate? No; my powers, physical and intellectual, are not 
withered, and my heart is still delighted with the work of the ministry. My 
ability for pedestrianism and for mental labor was never better. Three serv- 
ices every Sabbath, and the usual meetings during the week, all give proof of 

He continued to travel until he was seventy-five years of age, 
and retired to a comfortable home in Poughkeepsie, where he 
was cheerful and happy, and remarkably active, taking up the 
study of French, reading the Bible in the original tongues, and 
writing a history of his life. By invitation of the Rev. M. L. 
Scudder, he preached a semi-centennial sermon in Poughkeep- 
sie, in 1847, which was repeated in other places. He wrote, 
July 6, 1848: 

I have now in my old age the satisfactory reflection that I entered the trav- 
eling connection in the spirit of sacrifice, in full faith in the promise of God for 
all necessary supplies of both the upper and the nether springs — spiritual and 
temporal grace, * * * an d during my forty-eight years of effective serv- 
ice in the Church, God has liberally provided for me, and now my circum- 
stances are as pleasant as heart could wish. 

He recognized a kind Providence in all the events of his life, 
and recounted, with gratitude, twelve narrow escapes from death. 
His triumph culminated at the last, and often, in the midst of his 
severest agonies, he shouted, " Glory to God ! I am happy in 
Jesus." Thus he finished his course with joy on August 2, 1856, 
in the eighty-eighth year of his age. His mortal remains yet 
slumber in a vault in the old Dutch burial-ground east of Pough- 

William Thacher was below medium size, possessing remark- 
able vigor and endurance, a close observer of men, sensitive, 
frank, fearless, and extremely positive in his opinions. " He 
was sometimes petulant — did not like to be contradicted." 10 

He took advanced ground in the temperance reform, lectur- 
ing on the subject in Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park, and Rhine- 
beck, as early as 1833, and although the pledge that was offered 
in those days was the old pledge against ardent spirits only, he 

10 Statement of Judge Dikeman to the author. 

Record of Ministers. 163 

I then advocated the teetotal principles before they were commonly known 
to be essential to the cause of temperance. The Holy Spirit set me right on 
the principles of temperance. 

Few men ever had the ability to quote the Scriptures with 
greater pertinency and force. His brethren of the Conference 
adopted the following testimony : 

His pulpit efforts were characterized by great earnestness, by clear exposi- 
tion of the Scriptures, by terseness, brevity, and point. The general cast of 
his sermons was practical, while his closing appeals to the heart were often 
overwhelmingly effective. u 

Chief among his published literary productions are " William 
Theophilus," (an autobiographical sketch,) and a sermon on 
secret prayer. 12 He was a member of the General Conference 
of 1808. ___^ 

Anna (Munson,) wife of William Thacher, was a holy woman. 
She "died happy," February 18, 1807, aged nearly thirty-four 
years. 13 She is buried in the old part of New Haven cemetery. 14 

Martha (Oakley,) his second wife, sought the Lord at the 
long-to-be-remembered camp-meeting in Croton, N. Y., in 1806, 
and first received the witness of her acceptance on board the 
returning sloop. She joined the Duane-street church in New 
York. She was married to Mr. Thacher Dec. 29, 1808. She 
shared the sorrows and rejoiced in the success of her husband. 
She was sick four days, and slept in Jesus, January 19, 1848, 
aged sixty-three years. She is " buried in the family vault of 
Josiah Williams," in Poughkeepsie, N. Y 

A son, named William, was adopted and educated by an 
uncle. He died at the age of thirty-four. Another son, Israel, 
died at the age of. thirty-three. Mary Ann, one of the two 
daughters of William Thacher, married Luther Gilbert, of 
New Haven, Conn. One of her sons, William Thacher Gil- 
bert, is a minister in the New York East Conference ; another, 
Luther Munson Gilbert, is a physician in New Haven. Wm. 
Thacher's only surviving daughter, Amanda, married Wm. W 
Reynolds, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y A daughter, Eliza, married 
D. D. Richman, of Avondale, N. J. She died leaving a son, 
who is a physician in West Virginia. 

II Minutes of Conference, 1857, p. 320. 

12 See Methodist Magazine, May, 1828. 

13 Thacher's manuscript. w Mrs. W. W. Reynolds, letter to the author, 



he name of the Rev Samuel Merwin is honorably- 
connected with the history of Brooklyn Method- 
ism. Few men were better known in his time, or 
are better remembered to this day throughout the extensive 
region embraced in the old New York, New England, Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore Conferences. His ancestors came 
from England, and settled in Milford, Conn. Daniel, his 
great-grandfather removed to Durham in the same state, 
where that branch of the family afterward resided. There 
Samuel Merwin was born, September 13, 1777, and when he 
was seven years of age, his father, Daniel Merwin removed 
his family into New York state, and with some of his former 
neighbors established the settlement of New Durham. 

He was piously trained by his parents who were members 
of a Congregational Church: yet, like too many others, they 
were not "thoroughly furnished unto every good work" ior his 
conference memorial states that he "fell back" from a relig- 
ious life begun when a lad, "having no one to take him by 
the hand." 2 He was studious from boyhood, and taught school 
when eighteen years of age. About that time a Methodist 
itinerant dismounted in front of his father's house, and was 
invited to preach there. Samuel was brought back to the fa- 
vor of God, and he and his parents united with the Method- 
ists. With unquenchable zeal the young man engaged in 
the work of leading his neighbors to Christ, and the church 
soon discovered that he was called of God to a larger field 
of usefulness, "and thrust him out into her vineyard." The 
following is his 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1799, a supply on Delaware dr., N. Y.; 3 
1800, (New York conf. ,) Long Island cir., with James Campbell; 1801, Red- 

^prague's Annals. 2 Conf. Minutes, 1839, p. 670. 

3 Sprague's Annals. Stevens, following memoir in Minutes, says "Delaware 
District." There was a circuit, but no district by that name in 1799.. 


Record of Ministers. 165 

ding cir., Conn., with Isaac Candee; 1802, ordained deacon, — Adams, Mass.; 
1803, ordained elder, — Montreal, Canada; 1804, New York city cir., with N. 
Snethen and M. Coate; 1805, Redding cir., Conn., with Peter Moriarty, — 
last quarter, Brooklyn, with, or in place of, Ezekiel Cooper; 4 1806, (New 
England Conf.,) Boston, Mass., with Peter Jayne; 1807-1808, Newport, R. I.; 
1809, Bristol and Warren; 5 1810, (New York Conf.,) Albany cir., with John 
Crawford; 1811, Schenectady cir., with H. Stead; 1812-1813, Albany city; 
1814, Brooklyn; 1815-1817, presiding elder, New York Dist.; 1819, 
New York city cir., with A. Hunt, Laban Clark, B. Hibbard, T. Spicer, and 
N. Morris; 1820, Albany; 1821-1823, presiding elder, New Haven Dist.; 
1824, (Bait. Conf.,) Baltimore city, with Y. T. Peyton and N. Wilson; 1825, 
ditto, with B. Waugh, Y. T. Peyton, J. Summerfield, N. Wilson; 1826, (Phila. 
Conf.,) Philadelphia, St. George's, with L. Prettyman, R. Lutton, E. Cooper, 
sup'y; 1827, ditto, with S. Doughty and J. Lednum; 1828, (New York Conf., 
Troy, N. Y.; 1829, ditto, with J. C. Tackaberry ; 1830, New York, with S. 
Luckey, L. Pease, S. Martindale, B. Goodsell, H. Bangs, and S. D. Fergu- 
son; 1831, ditto, with L. Pease, S. Martindale, B. Goodsell, S. Landon, John 
Clark, B. Silleck, and C. Prindle; 1 832-1835, presiding elder, New York 
Dist.; 1836, New York, east cir., with J. Kennaday, S. Remington, H. 
Brown, and D. Smith; 1837-1838, Rhinebeck, N. Y. 

The foregoing record brings to our view a man whose elo- 
quence was in demand in all the great centers of Methodism in 
his day, from Montreal on the north to Baltimore on the south 
and Boston on the east. While in Boston, in 1806, he dedi- 
cated the old Bromfield-street church. 6 In 1807, when about 
thirty years of age, he married the widow of his friend and col- 
league, Peter Jayne. He was a member of every General Con- 
ference, except that of 1828, from 1812 to 1832. 

He preached his last sermon about one month before his de- 
parture. On the 13th of January, 1839, in Rhinebeck, N. Y., 
at the age of sixty-one years, he bade a willing farewell to earth. 
Charles W Carpenter preached his funeral sermon from Acts 
xx, 24. His remains were buried in Rhinebeck, and afterward 
removed to " Greenwood," where a suitable tombstone marks 
the place of his rest. 

In the absence of a personal knowledge of Samuel Merwin, 
who had gone to his reward before the writer of this sketch 
was born, it will be the more appropriate to present an array of 
testimonies concerning his character and work by a few of his 

4 Church records. 

6 Stevens says, erroneously, " Bristol and Rhode Island." See Hist. M. E. 
Church, vol. iii, p. 455. 
6 Stevens' Memorials of Methodism, first series, p. 283. 

1 66 Old Sands Street Church. 

intimate friends. Bishop Asbury, writing at New Haven, Conn., 
June, 1802, made the following record : 

I was pleased that the students of Yale College, as many as ninety or one 
hundred, had been under gracious impression. They would come to hear 
the Methodists, * * * God struck some of the vilest of them by the ministry 
of Samuel Merwin. 

The Rev. Fitch Reed thus describes Mr. Merwin as he was 
in 181 7 : 

Our presiding elder was at our first quarterly meeting in Westfields, [Long 
Island,] June 23 and 29. This was my first introduction to him, and any one 
who ever saw him may readily imagine how a timid, inexperienced youth, 
constantly fearful of doing wrong, or of not doing right, would be impressed 
with his appearance and bearing. At that period he was just in his prime, 
about forty years of age, and in his personal appearance one of the finest and 
most noble-looking men I have ever seen. He was a little above the medium 
size, of perfect symmetry, with a high, broad forehead, fair complexion, and 
a brilliant eye, beaming with intelligence and benignity. His voice, es- 
pecially when he addressed large audiences in the open air, was peculiar for 
its clear, rich intonations, and distinctness and force of utterance. Special 
occasions, which seemed to require special endowments, possessed with him a 
peculiar inspiration, more so, I think, than with any other man I ever knew; 
so that no extraordinary exigency could well take him by surprise. His 
preaching was often in the demonstration of the Spirit and with power. His 
memory is very precious to me. 7 

Just here it will be interesting to hear Dr. Bangs relate an 
incident in which many think his friend Merwin was quite mis- 
understood : 

Samuel Merwin sometimes became embarrassed in the pulpit. While he 
was preaching a missionary sermon in Allen-street, New York, feeling some- 
what embarrassed in mind, and perceiving that his congregation were in- 
clined to listlessness, he suddenly paused, and calling to a preacher who was 
in a slip in the body of the church, he said: "Brother B., you must come up 
here and help me, for I cannot get along with this great subject." The 
preacher replied with the same freedom with which he had been addressed : 
"It is in good hands, therefore go on, and you will conquer," This innocent 
artifice brought him out of the whirling eddies into which he had been carried, 
and, unfurling his sails, he gently glided off upon the sea of gospel truth. 8 

Many, to whom both of these men were well known, have 
been not a little amused on reading the foregoing paragraph. 
They affirm that the only rational view of the matter is that Mr. 

7 Reminiscences, Northern Christian Advocate, 1863. 

8 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 309. 

Record of Ministers. 167 

Merwin, observing the listlessness of the audience, called on Dr. 
Bangs for help with the sole intent of startling his hearers, and 
gaining their attention. The doctor mistook this device for a 
token of embarrassment, and quite complacently tells' of his 
" artifice " to help the preacher on. 

A very excellent critic, Dr. Samuel Luckey, directs attention 
to his great power of imitation, and remarks that he would 
doubtless have excelled as an actor. He adds : 

As a preacher, he was at once energetic and impressive, a model of correct- 
ness, power, and majesty, possessing a voice of great compass and uncommon 
melody. * * * As a ruler in the Church, he was firm, prudent, concili- 
atory, and successful. 9 

In words of similar import the'Rev. Elbert Osborn describes 
Mr. Mervvin's majestic appearance, and melodious yet power- 
'ful voice ; he then quotes the following remarks, which he heard 
him make at a quarterly meeting many years ago : 

When I was stationed in Albany I sometimes went into the capitol, and 
listened for a time to the learned, able gentlemen engaged in the debate, but 
I soon grew weary and uninterested, took my hat and retired ; but I go from 
one quarterly meeting to another ; every Sabbath I am in love-feasts, where I 
hear men, women, and youth, most of whom make no pretension to eloquence 
or learning, speak in artless language or broken accents of God's goodness to 
them, and it is still interesting, affecting, and, as it were, new to me every Sab- 

To these testimonies may be added a few lines from the por- 
traiture written by Dr. Abel Stevens. After describing Mr. 
Merwin as a " perfect Christian gentlemen," he says : 

He possessed superior powers of government, and discharged the functions 
of the presiding eldership with special ability. The invaluable talent of rec- 
onciling discordant brethf en or societies was his in a rare degree. * * * 
His pulpit appeals were accompanied by a flowing and sweeping eloquence, 
sometimes rising to wonderful power and majesty. 11 

Sarah, wife of Samuel Merwin, was a daughter of Nehemiah 
Clark, of Milford, Conn. There she was born in 1776. In early 
life she was converted, and, although few if any of her relatives 
were Methodists, she chose to unite with that people. 

9 Sprague's Annals, vol. vii, p. 336. i0 Life of Osborn, p. 52. 

11 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 457. 

1 68 Old Sands Street Church. 

Right nobly she shared for eight years the toils and self- 
denials of her first husband, Peter Jayne, who fell at his post 
in the itinerant ranks in 1806, and whose memorial has a place 
in this book. She afterward married Samuel Merwin, spent 
thirty-five years more in this work, and, about eight years after 
his death, from the home of her son, the Rev. J. B. Merwin, in 
Poughkeepsie, N. Y., on the 8th of January, 1847, at the age of 
more than three-score and ten years, like a shock of corn fully 
ripe, she was carried to the garner above. 

The children of Samuel and Sarah Merwin were five sons and 
two daughters. The eldest, Samuel C, a physician, fell a mar- 
tyr to his profession in Natchez, Miss., during the yellow-fever 
epidemic in 1839 ; next, Andrew Jlf., of the book firm of Bangs 
& Merwin ; third, John B., became his father's successor in 
the ministry and presiding eldership, and is numbered among 
the pastors of the Sands-street church ; fourth, Daniel O., a law- 
yer and judge in Massachusetts ; fifth, Elias, a lawyer in Bos- 
ton, Mass. One of the daughters, Julia M., married Dr. Bangs' 
oldest son, Lemuel Bangs, of New York, and the other daugh- 
ter, Sarah M., married Merrels Ward, of Middletown, Conn. 



rooklyn station employed two pastors in 1806. 
One of these was uio Rev Samuel Thomas, at 
that time a supernumerary preacher. The follow- 
ing must be accepted as the only known record of his his- 
tory antecedent to his becoming a traveling preacher. 

It was early in life that this man of God became acquainted with the power 
of religion through the instrumentality of Methodist preachers, and became a 
member of the society in the early days of Methodism in the state cf New Jer- 
sey where he then resided. His house for many years was a home for the 
preachers that came into that neighborhood. 

For many years he was an acceptable local preacher, during which time — the 
latter part especially — his mind was much exercised about traveling feeling an 
ardent desire to be more extensively useful in the church of God. 1 

ITINERANT RECORD: 1796, (Philadelphia Conf.,) Flanders cir.. 
N. J., with Thomas Woolsey; 1797, ditto, with T Everard; 1798, Elizabeth- 
town cir., with J. Tolleson and Thomas Morrell; 1799, ordained elder, — Free- 
hold cir., with Robert Sparks; 1800, Newburgh cir. , N. Y. , with E. Woolsey; 
1861, ditto, with M. Swaim and D. Best; 1802, Bethel cir., N. J., with B. Iliff; 
1803, Elizabethtown cir., with G. Woolsey and G. Stevens; 1804, Freehold dr., 
with W. M'Lenahan; 1805, ditto, with D. Dunham; 1806, (N. Y. Conf.,) 
sup'y in Brooklyn, 2 with E. Cooper; 1307, sup'y, New York, with T. Bishop, 
E. Cooper, F Ward and P. Peck; 1808-1811, superannuated. 

Under his labors, in connection with Ezekiel Cooper, 
Sands-street church was blessed with a remarkable revival 
in 1806. Among the converts were Marvin Richardson, 
Josiah Bowen and Charles Wesley Carpenter, who became 
eminent ministers of the gospel. 3 

His brethren of the conference declare that he was "a man 
of great prayer, and diligent in searching the Scriptures." 

1 Minutes of Conferences, 18 12, p. 208. 

5 Sands-street records (1806) say he was appointed by Bishop Asbury to di- 
vide his time as supply between New York and Brooklyn. 

3 Richardson's MS. autobiography, quoted in Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, 
vol. iv, p. 254. See also Conf. Minutes, 1853, p. 194- 

170 Old Sands Street Church. 

Special mention is made of the fact that he was " a strict disci- 
plinarian." " He was a man of slender constitution," suffer- 
ing much pain and weariness, and, therefore, " subject to dejec- 
tion, and frequently tempted and buffeted by the devil." 

In the fall of 181 1 he removed, with his daughter and son-in- 
law, to Cincinnati, Ohio. He passed the winter contentedly 
and happily, though suffering at times from severe attacks of 
sickness. His death, in the spring of 181 2, after an illness of 
three days, was serene and peaceful. 4 At the time of his trans- 
lation he was the only superannuated minister in the New York 

The " In Memoriam " record in the recent editions of the 
New York Conference Minutes states that he was buried in 
Cincinnati, O. There is no record of his interment in the old 
Methodist burial-ground in that city. 5 

Concerning his family nothing definite has been ascertained. 

4 See Minutes of Conferences, 1812, p. 208. The exact dale of his death 
is not known. 

5 John Dubois, Esq., of Cincinnati, attempted to find his grave, but without 



;j he Rev. Oliver Sykes was born in the north-west- 
ern part of the town of Suffield, Conn., January 
T2, 1778. During his boyhood and youth he had 
serious reflections bordering on despair. At the age of twen- 
ty-two he was residing in Westfield, Mass., and during a se- 
ries of revival meetings among the Methodists, he sought 
the Lord in secret, and was saved from doubts "arising from 
Calvanistic instructions," and enabled to trust that the work 
of grace was already begun in his heart, "although" he writes, 
"the evidence was not so satisfactory as that of many " He 
continues as follows: 

I was not far from twenty-three years of age when I was baptized by the pre- 
siding elder, Rev. Shadrach Bostwick, and not a great while after that time 
joined the Methodist society, of which I was appointed class leader, and used 
to go in general about four or live miles a week to attend class meeting; I also 
used to exhort at tne close of sermons among the Methodists and Congregation- 

He was licensed to preach in February, 1805; visited the 
conference that year, and heard Bishop Whatcoat preach. 
He was much exercised and depressed, believing that he 
ought to give up his secular occupation, that of a clerk 
in a store, and enter the traveling ministry. After at- 
tending a few quarterly meetings with Daniel Ostrander, 
the presiding elder, he says, "I returned to Westfield pretty 
much the same dejected creature." He had put his hand to 
the plow, however, and was determined not to look back. 
His career as a conference preacher began in 1805, and may 
be traced by the following 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1805, supply on Dutches cir.,N. Y l 
three months with F. Ward and R. Dillon, and on Croton cir. nine months w. •. 

1 Manuscript Autobiography. 

172 Old Sands Street Church. 

Billy Hibbard ; 1806, (N. York Conf.,) Redding cir., Conn., with N. Fitch ; 
last half of the year, Brooklyn, with Samuel Thomas ;' 2 1807, Middletown 
cir., Conn., with Reuben Harris f 1808, ordained deacon, — Dunham cir., Can- 
ada and Vt. ; 1809, Fletcher cir., Vt. ; 1810, ordained elder, — Middletown cir., 
Conn., with J. Lyon; 1811, Redding cir., with Aaron Hunt and John Rey- 
nolds; 1812, sup'd ; 1813, sup'y, without appointment; 1814, sup'y, Cortland 
cir , N. Y., with N. W. Thomas and Samuel Bushnell ; 1815, Suffolk and Sag 
Harbor cir., with John Reynolds, — health failed ; 1816, sup'd ; 1817, sup'y, 
Dutchess cir., with Samuel Cochran and J. B. Matthias ; 1818-1825, sup'd; 
1826, sup'y, Redding and Bridgeport cir., Conn., with M. Richardson, H. 
Humphreys, and Aaron Hunt, sup'y ; 1827, ditto, with Henry Stead and J. 
Lovejoy; I828, sup'y, Stratford cir., with J. Lovejoy and H. Romer ; 1830, 
sup'd; 1830, sup'y, 'Redding cir., with J. Youngs and J. Bowen ; 1831-, sup'y, 
Newtown, with L. Mead; 1833, sup'y, Saugatuck, with N. White; 1834, 
sup'y, Derby cir., with H. Humphreys and John Crawford ; 1835, ditto, with J. 
Bowen ; 1836, sup'y, Windsor cir., with E. Dennis and W. L. Starr ; 1837, 
sup'y, Derby cir., with D. Miller; 1838, ditto, with O. Starr; 1839-1847, 
sup'd ; 1848-1852, (New York East Conf.,) sup'd. 

The early promise and popularity of Mr. Sykes are indicated 
in the following extract from a manuscript letter by Francis 
Ward, preacher in charge of Dutchess circuit, dated Rhinebeck, 
December 14, 1805, and addressed to Freeborn Garrettson, then 
stationed in New York : 

I am afraid the cause will suffer if Brother Sykes is taken from us. He is 
a gracious and gifted man, and universally acceptable. To take him from us 
at this time is like breaking my bones. It would rejoice me exceedingly if 
you and Brother Thacher could so arrange matters as to leave him with us. 

If his popularity did not greatly increase after that, it is prob- 
ably due in a large measure to his physical infirmities. There 
is something pathetic in the continued repetition of "supernu- 
merary " and " superannuated " in the foregoing record. He 
writes concerning it : 

My relation to the Annual Conference varied according to circumstances, 
but for the most part I was on the list of worn-out preachers. I preferred 
this to supernumerary, as it left me more at liberty. However, I repeatedly 
took an effective relation, and was obliged to give it up on account of my 
health. At length Brother Bangs (now Dr. Bangs) told me he thought I had 
better make no more attempts to stand effective, but do the best I could in my 
condition. This course I have taken, and endeavored to labor as Providence 
opened the way. 

2 Autobiography. 

3 The Minutes add Wm. Thacher, but he was on the Middletown station. 
See sketch of Wm. Thacher in this work. 

Record of Ministers. 173 

His active labors in Brooklyn and on the east end of Long 
Island did not much exceed a year in duration. He came to 
Brooklyn when Ezekiel Cooper went South, and boarded with 
John Garrison. 

" He suffered patiently during his last sickness, which was 
severe and protracted," and departed this life " with an un- 
clouded prospect before him." 4 He died at the house of Mrs. 
Joseph Curtis, of Stratford, Conn., who donates his manuscript 
autobiography to the New York East Conference Historical 
Society. The plain marble slab which marks his resting-place, 
in the Methodist cemetery at Stratford, bears the following in- 
scription : 

Rev. Oliver Sykes, of the New York East Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, died in the faith of the Gospel, triumphing over the fear 
of death, February 13, 1853, aged 75 years. 

" What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." 

It is doubtful if any portrait of Mr. Sykes was ever taken. He 
is remembered by the older preachers as a confirmed old bach- 
elor, a tall man, a great pedestrian, almost invariably seen with 
an umbrella, rarely taking notice of children, opposed to in- 
strumental music, remarkably gifted in prayer, fond of discours- 
ing on the resurrection, seldom looking his congregation in the 
face, and often stealing away after service without speaking to 
any one. We have from his pen the following example of this 
last-named peculiarity : 

My first Sabbath appointment at Rhinebeck was in the forenoon. I was 
so much harassed in mind in endeavoring to preach, that instead of going 
into the house, as was customary, to get some refreshment, after meeting, I 
immediately took my horse and started for my afternoon appointment, think- 
ing, " You will never wish to see me at Rhinebeck again ; " * * * but when I 
came round to that place again I was told that Brother Sands, and I believe 
some others, were quite blessed under my sermon. 

It was no unusual thing for him to walk nine miles from his 
lodging-place through the woods before breakfast, apparently 
with the sole motive of eating in a different place from where 
he slept. If he lodged at Redding, he would breakfast at 
Weston, and vice versa. He came at one time, by invitation, to 
see his friend, W H. Dikeman, in New York, and was sincerely 
and cordially welcomed. In the morning, behold ! the guest 

4 Conf. Minutes, 1853, p. 212. 

174 Old Sands Street Church. 

had abandoned his bed and his rqom secretly and without a 
word of explanation, before the family were awake, and his host 
never saw his afterward. 

His property, about $25,000, he bequeathed to the Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the benefit of 
the China Mission. 

To some it may be interesting to read his own written testi- 
mony concerning the loss of physical strength, which he fre- 
quently experienced u while engaged in secret or family prayer, 
but sometimes in the class or prayer meetings, and even in the 
[public] congregation occasionally." He says: 

I do not recollect any instance of it, but when earnestly engaged in prayer. 
The effect, in a religious point of view, is salutary. It brightens my enjoy- 
ment, and nerves up my mind to pursue my religious course. Others may 
endeavor to account for these things by saying that the mind becomes greatly 
excited, and overpowers the body. But as to myself, I write from experience 
and what I know. The influence begins, progresses, till suddenly, as if it 
were by a stroke of lightning, my strength is gone and I fall to the floor. It 
may be a peculiarity with me, but I do not recollect any instance in which I 
could not soon rise up again. It seems to me, judging from its results, to be a 
baptism of the Holy Spirit. 


hen the Rev Joseph Crawford was presiding el- 
der of the New York District, and when later he 
was appointed pastor of the Sands-street Church, 
he ranked among the foremost men of the denomination. 

He was a native of White Plains, N. Y His active minis- 
try began when he was twenty-four years of age, and the, 
following is his 

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1797. (New York Conf . . ) Pomfret dr., Ct. 
with Stephen Hull; 179S, Vershire cir. , Vt. ; 1799, ordained deacon — Vershire 
and Windsor cir., with E. Chichester; 1800, Plattsburg; 1801, ordained elder, 
■ — 1801-1S02, Bernard, Yt. ; 1803, presiding elder, Vermont District; 1804, 
(New England Conf., by change of boundaries,) same appointment; 1805, trav- 
eled with Bishop Asbury; 1806, (N. Y Conf.,) New Rochelle cir., N. Y., with 
H. Redstone and Ezekiel Canfield, sup'y, 1807 — 1S10, presiding elder, New 
York Dist.; 1S11, Courtland cir., with Coles Carpenter; 1S12, New York city, 
with Wm. Phoebus, Laban Clark, and Phineas Cook; 1813, ditto, with Phineas 
Cook, Samuel Cochran and Phineas Rice; 1 8 14, Hudson; 181 5, Jamaica cir., 
with Benj. Griffen; 1816-1817, Brooklyn ; 1818-1819, Albany. 

His second circuit, Vershire, Vt., included all that part of 
the state east of the mountains, and under his labors large 
numbers were added to the church the first year, and he was 
still more successful in connection with his colleague, Elijah 
Chichester, during the second year, when "more than a hun- 
dren were added to the church, besides hundreds who were 
converted but entered other communions." 1 One of those 
converts was a young man residing in Bradford, Vt., twen- 
ty one years of age, Laban Clark by name, who afterward 
became one of the most distinguished members of the New 
York Conference. He thus describes Mr. Crawford's faith- 
ful labors in leading him to Christ: 

1 Stevens — Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, pp. 49, 63. 

ij6 Old Sands Street Church. 

I left my work and went to hear him. He dwelt upon the ample provision 
of the atonement; the liberty of all to come ; the manner of coming by faith ; 
that the sinner was to come because he was a sinner, and not tarry to make 
himself better; and in conclusion he sang the hymn, 

" Come, ye sinners, poor and needy," etc. 

A few weeks later he visited that part of the circuit again, 
and Mr. Clark writes : 

He came to my father's family. They collected together, the itinerant 
gave an exhortation and prayed, and in taking leave he took each person by 
the hand, and addressed a few words to them individually. When he came 
to me I was so affected that I could not refrain from weeping. He held on 
to my hand, exhorting me to receive Christ by faith, and lifting up his voice, 
he prayed earnestly for the Lord to bless me. 2 

The wife of the Rev. P P. Sandford, when a child, " was 
melted into tears " under his powerful preaching, and after 
awhile gave her heart to Christ. 3 

Dr. Abel Stevens quotes Bishop Asbury's account of the af- 
fecting farewell of the bishop and Crawford at the close of their 
journey through the New England States. Asbury wrote : 

Joseph Crawford came over the ferry with me. When about to part he 
turned away his face and wept. Ah, I am not made for such scenes! I felt 
exquisite pain. 4 

He was a member of the General Conference in 1804 and in 
1808. It is related that on one occasion Mr. Crawford attend- 
ed a meeting composed of Methodists and other people, and 
conducted by a Universalist preacher who had visited the place, 
and proposed to establish stated services. Mr. Crawford was 
invited to conduct the closing exercises, which consisted of sing- 
ing and prayer. He announced the following hymn, "lining " 
it in the old-fashioned Methodist style : 

" Jesus, great Shepherd of the sheep, 

To thee for help we fly; 
Thy little flock in safety keep, 

For O, the wolf is nigh!" 

That hymn and the prayer had a very discouraging effect on 
the Universalist preacher, and he never came again. 

2 Memoir of Laban Clark, Conference Minutes, 1869. 
8 See memorial sketch of Peter P. Sandford in this work. 
4 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 312. 

Record of Ministers. 177 

The public career of this eminent standard-bearer was sud- 
denly closed in 1820 by his exclusion from the ministry and the 
Church. Two trials and two appeals resulted in a final and ad- 
verse decision by the General Conference of 1828. A partial 
account of his subsequent history is given in the following com- 
munications from the State of Ohio, where he spent the last 
years of his life. The Rev. Cyrus Prindle writes : 5 

I was slightly acquainted with Mr. Crawford during the last of his connec- 
tion with the New York Conference, and was in attendance as a member of 
that body when he had his last trial in 1825. Though I personally knew him 
after this, I knew but little of him. I incidentally learned that after doing 
business in New York or its vicinity for a season, he left, and went, himself, 
to Sandusky city, Ohio. 

Visiting Sandusky, about 1848, he conversed with an aged 
and intelligent Methodist brother who had known Mr. Craw- 
ford during his stay in that city. His testimony Mr. Prindle 
'records as follows : 

He stated that from the time Mr. Crawford came to Sandusky until his 
death, which was by cholera, if I correctly remember, his deportment was 
good. He stated that at one period, when a considerable company were 
gathered together, the former life of Mr. Crawford was a theme of conversa- 
tion, and it was voted to appoint a committee to call upon him and invite 
him to select a time and preach to them. This man informed me that Mr. 
Crawford was so overpowered that he wept as though his heart was broken, 
but finally consented, and preached the sermon as requested. The account 
to me at the time was a most impressive narrative. 

The gentleman to whom I refer informed me where I could find his grave, 
with a plain tombstone, and his name on it. I went alone to the public 
burying-ground, and found all as it had been told me. I remained at the 
grave for meditation and reflection, thinking how Joseph Crawford, in his 
palmiest days, had swayed the multitudes while addressing them, as the winds 
of heaven the forests. * 

To the foregoing we may add the following note from a pas- 
tor in Sandusky, written August 29, 1881 : 

The Rev. Joseph Crawford is quite well remembered by several old citi- 
zens here. Of his previous history they know nothing, save the rumor that 
he left New York on account of certain irregularities. While here he was 
engaged as a clerk in two or more stores. He is not known to have been con- 
nected with any church, although he often came to the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Old Mr. Clemens states that he often led class, and frequently went 
out into the country to preach. 

B Letter to the author. 

178 Old Sands Street Church. 

This is not confirmed by others. He 'preached a funeral sermon at the 
burial of Mr. Boalt, which is remembered as a sermon of great power. He 
was considered a man of marked talent ; was kind and gentlemanly, of dig- 
nified carriage, florid countenance, and gray, or slightly gray, hair. 6 

This correspondent makes note of conflicting statements by 
the aged people of Sandusky concerning the report that Mr. 
Crawford fell into a habit of drinking. He quotes the follow- 
ing, inscribed upon a tombstone in an old and neglected ground 
in the western part of Sandusky city: 

In memory of Joseph Crawford, who was born in White Plains, N. Y., 
and died in this city Aug. 9, 1832, aged 59 years. 

His wife long since found rest in heaven ; and of their chil- 
dren, living and dead, many pages of merited eulogy might be 
written, but they are not required. 

Rev. Albert D. Knapp, letter to the author. 






ands-street Church was favored with the pastor- 
al labors of the Rev. Elijah Woolsey in the year 
1807 He was born in Marlborough, Ulster Co., 
N. Y., July 26, 1 77 1. 1 His memoir in the Conference Min- 
utes states that "his parents were pious; his mother especial- 
ly was deeply devoted to God, and no doubt imparted to 
him early religious instruction." 

In his autobiography he relates that the Methodist itiner- 
ants were accustomed to visit his father's house. He was 
greatly affected when they took him by the hand, and affec- 
tionately urged him to seek the Lord. He was still more 
thoroughly awakened when his own sister was converted 
and became a Methodist In a short time he followed her 
example. He held meetings and exhorted his neighbors to 
repent. In 1792, he and his brother Thomas began their 
itinerant work; his brother on trial in the conference, and 
he as a supply on a very laborious circuit at the age of twen- 
ty-one. After that year he filled the following 

APPOINTMENTS: 1793, (New York Conf.,) Cambridge dr., with Joel 
Ketcham; 1794, Upper Canada, upper cir. ; 1795, ordained elder, — Bay of 
Quinte, with Sylvester Reeler; 1796, Redding cir., Conn., with Robert Leeds; 
I 797~i799, local; i8co, (N. Y. Conf.,) Newburg-h cir. ,N. Y., with S. Thomas; 
1 801. (Phila. Conf.) Flanders, N. J., with Benj. Iliff; 1802, ditto, with G, Bailey; 
1803-1806, presiding elder, Albany Dist, N. Y., (from 1804, New York Conf.,) 
1807, Brooklyn, with John Wilson; 1808, Croton cir., with Isaac Candee; 
1809, Pittsfield cir. , Mass., with Phineas Cook; 1810, Dutchess cir., N. Y., 
with Z. Lyon and Smith Arnold; 181 1, ditto, with Peter Bussing; 18 12, presid- 
ing elder, Rhinebeck Dist.; 1813, Middletown cir., Conn., with A. Scolefield; 
1814, Stratford cir., with Henry Eames; 1815, Redding cir., with Reuben Har- 
ris; 1816, Dutchess cir., N. Y., with Noble \V Thomas; 1817, Cortland cir., 

1 Minutes of Conferences, 1850. p. 453. This date nearly agrees with his 
age as inscribed on his tomb-stone. See Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, 
p. 180, where 1772 is given as the date of his birth. 

180 Old Sands Street Church. 

with B. Northrop ; 1818, Newburgh cir., with Ileman Bangs ; 1819, Croton 
cir., with J. B. Matthias ; 1821, New Rochelle cir., with Wm. Jewett and 
Robert Seney ; 1822, ditto, with Wm. Jewett and N. W. Thomas; 1823, 
Cortland cir., with J. B. Matthias ; 1824, Redding cir., Conn., with John 
Reynolds; 1825, sup'y, Cortland cir., N. Y., with Elijah Hebard and Henry 
Hatfield; 1826, Stamford cir., Conn., with Luman Andrus; 1827, ditto, with 
S. U. Fisher ; 1828, New Rochelle cir., N. Y., with S. Cochran and J. 
Bowen ; 1829, Cortland cir., with H. Bartlett and J. Reynolds; 1830, sup'y, 
Cortland cir., with N. White and J. Reynolds; 1831, ditto, with N. White, 
J. B. Matthias, and D. Stocking ; 1832, ditto, with H. Bartlett, J. B. Matthias, 
and W M'Kendree Bangs ; 1833, ditto, with H. Bartlett and W. M'Kendree 
Bangs; 1834, sup'y, no appointment; 1835, su P'y> New Rochelle cir., with 
D. Ostrander and B. Daniels ; 1836, ditto, with P R. Brown and Thomas 
Sparks ; 1837, ditto, with P. R. Brown, T. Sparks, and J. W Le Fevre, sup'y ; 
1838-1S47, sup'd ; 1848-1849, (New York East Conf. ,) sup'd. 

It took nineteen days or more to reach his appointment in 
Canada. To accomplish that journey, which could now be 
made in a few hours with the utmost ease, he was subjected to 
almost incredible hardships, contending with the rapids in the 
Mohawk valley, facing storms of rain and snow on the Oswego 
River, wrecked on Lake Ontario, unsheltered by nignt, weary, 
famishing, and sometimes sick, but always happy in the Lord. 2 
In that northern region he was remarkably popular, and suc- 
cessful in establishing Methodism in many places. One of the 
chroniclers of Canadian Methodism writes : 

Elijah Woolsey reached a preaching place in Canada weary and hungry. 
The old lady showed him into the pantry and set a lunch before him. After 
quite a long time his hostess put in her head and found him still eating with a 
zest. " Brother Woolsey, the house is full of people," said she. " I will be 
out and at them in a minute," was his lively and energetic reply ; and our 
informant said that, sure enough, he went at them with a will, and with good 
and saving effect. 3 

Many wept when he left the circuit, and several small farms 
were offered to him if he would stay. He writes in his auto- 
biography : 

One man followed me down to the water side, and there we sat for some 
time and talked and wept together, and when I got into the boat, he threw his 
arms around me, and waded knee-deep into the water, and said, " If you will 
but comeback again, as long as I have twomouthfuls of bread you shall have one." 
* * * It was to me a source of inexpressible satisfaction that I had been made 
useful to a few of my fellow-creatures, though of another nation, and the thought 
of meeting them on Canaan's happy shore, after the trials of life are over, and 

2 See full account of this journey in Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, 
pp. 181-185. 

3 " Case and his Contemporaries," p. 44. 

Record of Ministers. 181 

of greeting them as my spiritual children, often gilds the shadows of my su- 
pernumerary hours, and gives brilliancy to the rays of my descending sun. 4 

Just before the conference in 1807 his wife's health declined, and 
this seems to have led to his appointment to Brooklyn. He writes 
thus concerning this appointment and his experience there : 

My wife was taken sick with what proved to be her last sickness. * * * I 
now wished to have my next appointment on Newburgh circuit, where she 
lived, and I sent my request to Bishop Asbury at the conference, accordingly 
He did not see fit, however, to grant it, but chose that for me which was 
better than if my own request had been granted. He appointed me to 
Brooklyn, where I could fill my Sabbath appointments, and be with my 
suffering companion most of the time. The friends of Brooklyn were exceed- 
ingly kind ; indeed, a kinder people I never saw. One day I saw my be- 
loved companion weeping, and said to her, " What makes you weep ? " She 
said, "I want to live." I said to her, "What makes you want to live?" 
She said, " To compensate you for your kindness to me." This made me 
weep, and I felt unhappy for a time. A few days after I asked her if she was 
willing to give me up. She said she was. I felt thankful to God for it. She 
then asked me if I could give her up. I told her I could. She appeared to 
be glad. I continued to watch with her night and day as long as she lived. 6 

He was a member of the General Conference in 1804, 1816, 
and 1820. In his old age he wrote a history of his life, entitled 
"The Supernumerary," a valuable contribution to the historic 
literature of our Church. He spent his last days in Rye, N. Y., 
where he preached occasionally and was held in great honor by 
all the people. His conference memorial states that "his de- 
cease was preceded by a long and gradual decline, during 
which he exhibited Christian resignation and cheerfulness, and 
his spirit often rejoiced in God his Saviour." 

Near the western boundary of a charming cemetery, owned 
by the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the village of Rye, N. Y., 
in a lot belonging to Dr. E. W Finch, of New Rochelle, there 
is a very tasteful monument of polished granite, surmounted 
by an urn, and bearing this inscription : 


In the Ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church 57 Years. 

Died January 24, 1850, aged 79 Years. 

In Labors Abundant. 


Died March 27, 1874, 

Aged 88 Years. 

Gone Home. 

4 " The Supernumerary," p, 50. B Ibid., pp. 93, 94- 

1 82 Old Sands Street Church. 

Mr. Woolsey was twice married, but he left no posterity. He 
was tall, well-built, and of noble bearing. The brief memoir 
adopted by the conference says of him : 

Father Woolsey was a man of great benevolence of character and amenity 
of manners. He seemed to have a happy art of attaching himself to his 
associates without effort on his part, and those attachments were lasting as 
life. He was a holy man, a good preacher, and he shall be held in everlasting 
remembrance. 6 

He was a singer, and, like many of the early preachers, de- 
lighted in "China" and other old-fashioned minor tunes. He was 
gifted with a sharpness which convinced many a skeptic that he 
was a dangerous antagonist. W H. Dikeman relates that an 
infidel once said to a friend of Woolsey's in Redding, Conn. : 
" I tell you, the Methodist preachers don't know any thing. 
Woolsey is a fool. Invite me to your house sometime when he 
is there, and I will expose his ignorance." The friend agreed 
to the proposition, and warned Woolsey to be on the lookout 
for some vexatious questions. The infidel propounded the 
following: "Mr. Woolsey, what is the soul?" The preacher 
replied: "Some people say it is the pith of the back-bone." 
This answer was received with scorn and declared to be 
ridiculous. "Well, then," said Woolsey, "if it isn't that, what 
is it ? " He had the advantage at once. The infidel was puz- 
zled and ashamed, and acknowledged that it was easier even 
for a wise infidel to ask questions than to answer them. 

The Rev. Elbert Osborn, who had often heard him preach, 
wrote of him as "animated in delivery," and Dr. Wakeley well 
said that he " possessed the spirit of the prophet whose name 
he bore." 

Electa, his first wife, died among the Sands-street people^ 
February 14, 1808, aged twenty-nine years. One week before 
her death she declared to Father Garrettson " that the Lord 
had sanctified her soul more than two years before, and that she 
had not seen one moment since that time in which she doubted 
it any more than she doubted her own existence." In her last 
moments "she folded her hands together and said, 'Now, Lord 
Jesus, take me to thyself speedily.' These were her last words. 

M 7 

6 Minutes of Conferences, 1850, p. 453. 

7 "The Supernumerary," pp. 94, 95. 

Record of Ministers. 183 

She was buried on the east side of the Sands-street church- 
yard. On the head-stone are these lines : 

" Her sleeping dust, in silent slumber, lies 
Beneath this stone, till God shall bid it rise." 

None would now write such a couplet over the sleepers there. 
What changes have transpired ! Little did those who laid their 
loved ones to rest in the quiet slopes beside the village church 
anticipate that in iess than a century their repose might be dis- 
turbed to make way for the busy throngs of a great and growing 

Phoebe (Wilson,) the second wife of Elijah Woolsey, has 
already been mentioned. Dr. E. W Finch writes : 

Mrs. Phoebe Woolsey was aunt to my mother, who spent one year, when a 
child, in Uncle Woolsey 's home. The family ties are exceedingly strong in 
the Wilson family. My dear Aunt Phoebe was like a mother to me. * * * 
After settling in New Rochelle I purchased a plot in the Rye cemetery, and 
finding " the minister's plot " quite overrun with weeds and briars, I asked of 
the Church authority to remove the remains of Uncle and Aunt Woolsey to 
my family plot, which was readily granted. The plot seems more sacred since 
their Sacred dust was deposited there. 8 

8 Letter to the author. 


mong the most holy and useful of the early Meth- 
odist preachers was the Rev John Wilson. He 
was born in Poulton, England, February 13, 1763; 
and, having been "taught by his parents the fear of the 
Lord," he became in very early life a Christian, and while 
yet a youth he cast in his lot with "the people called Method- 
ists." At twenty years of age he came to New York, bring- 
ing a recommendation from the Methodist preachers in Liv- 
erpool. Two years later he visited England on business, 
and on the return voyage "experienced extraordinary mani- 
festations of the love and presence of the Lord." 1 He ren- 
dered faithful service to the cause of Methodism in New 
York city as class leader, exhorter and local preacher. He 
was thirty-four years of age, and had been in America four- 
teen years when he entered the traveling connection of 
Methodist preachers. 

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1797, (New York Conf.,) New Rochelle 
and Croton cir.,N. V., with David Brown and J. Baker; 1798, Long Island 
cir.. with David Brown; 1799, ordained deacon, — ditto, with James Campbell; 2 

1800. New Rochelle and Croton cir., with David Brown and Elijah Chichester; 

1 801, ordained elder, — ditto, with 3 as. Campbell and Wm, Pickett; 1802, New 
York city cir., with T. Morrell and T. F. Sargent; 1803, ditto, with T. Mor- 
rell, M. Coate, and R. Williston; 1804, assistant editor and general book 
steward, associated with Ezekiel Cooper; 1805, New York, with F. Garrettson; 

1 Conference Minutes, 1810, p. 181. 

8 The appointment is ' 'Brooklyn and Long Island" in the Conference Minutes, 
but the quarterly conference records show that the charges were not united in 
finances, and that Cyrus Stebbins was the Brooklyn pastor that year. 

Record of Ministers. 185 

N. Snethen and Aaron Hunt; 1806, ditto, with A. Hunt, T. Bishop, and D. 
Crowell ; 1807, Brooklyn, with Elijah Woolsey ; 1808, New York, with W 
Thacher, E. Cooper, F. Ward, L. Andrus, and P. Peck ; 1 808-1 809, chief 
book agent, with Daniel Hitt. 

Lednum says he married Hester, a daughter of Frederick 
Deveau, a pioneer Methodist of New Rochelle, N. Y., 3 but of 
her or her family nothing further is known. 

In scholarship, John Wilson ranked among the foremost of 
the preachers. His memorial says: 

He was conversant with the Greek and Roman classics. Carrying with him 
his Greek Testament, he speut many of his leisure hours in the perusal thereof. 
He made great progress in polemical, experimental, and practical theology. 
He was an enlightened, able, and spiritual divine. In penmanship, for per- 
spicuity and swiftness ; in correctness of accounts and accuracy of calculations 
in business, he could be excelled by few. 4 

In all the graces which adorn the Christian character, his 
brethren declared him to be " a superior example worthy of 
imitation." His preaching was "in demonstration of the Spirit, 
and with power." Sinners and backsliders heard his monitory 
voice, and trembled; * * * mourners in Zion rejoiced at 
the consolation he brought ; " and by his clear and powerful 
preaching on his favorite theme, entire sanctification, many were 
brought to the experience of that great blessing. The follow- 
ing passage by one of his contemporaries vividly illustrates his 
ability to overcome prejudice and doubt, when he spoke upon 
the doctrine of perfect love. 

On the sixth day of our session, [New York Conference, 1804,] the post- 
poned subject of sanctification was called up, and Stebbins, its enemy, came 
on with his objections. Up rose John Wilson, whose soul flamed with the fire 
of it. His sanguine countenance, his sparkling eye, his animated frame and 
fervor of soul, all indicated that his heart was full of the subject ; and, as in 
the case of Stephen, none could " resist the spirit and wisdom with which he 
spake." He sat down to wait a reply, but " none opened his mouth, or mut- 
tered, or peeped." The victory was complete; the debate was closed; all 
seemed love, and the angel of peace brooded over the consecrated assembly. 5 

He was several years secretary of the New York Conference, 
a member and secretary of the General Conference in 1804, and 
a member again in 1808. 

3 "Rise of Methodism," p. 103. 

4 Conference Minutes, 1810, p. 181. 

5 William Thacher's manuscript Autobiography. 

1 86 Old Sands Street Church. 

During the last seven years of his life he suffered greatly from 
asthma, and while this affliction developed his patience, it did not 
quench his zeal. He died suddenly from suffocation, January 
29, 1 810, having conversed and prayed with his family a few 
hours before his death. His remains were deposited in a vault 
in the rear of the Forsyth-street church, New York. 8 

6 See " Lost Chapters," p. 501. 

$&srif~ /7</£r*&^kn 0t 




ohn Wilson and Elijah Woolsey were succeeded in 
the Brooklyn charge by that "shrewd and far-see- 
ing Methodist statesman," the Rev Daniel 
Ostrander. He was born in Plattekill, Ulster Co., N. Y. , 
on the 9th of August, 1772. He sprang from a rugged and 
vigorous stock — his ancestors were from Holland. His con- 
version at the age of sixteen years was followed by the ear- 
nest and sincere devotion of more than half a century to the 
noblest work that can engage the powers of a human being. 
Entering the itinerancy at the age of twenty one, he wrought 
grandly for God and the church in the following 

APPOINTMENTS: 1793, Litchfield dr., Conn., with Lemuel Smith; 1794, 
Middletown cir., with M. Rainor; 1795, ordained deacon — Pomfret cir., with 
N. r Chapin; 1796, Warren, R. I.; 1797, ordained elder — Boston and Needham 
cir., Mass., with Elias Hull; 1798, Pomfret, Ct., with Asa Heath; 1799, Tolland 
cir.; 1800, Pomfret cir.; 1801 New York with John M'Claskey, Thos. Morrell, 
and M. Coate; 1802-1803, N«ew London Dist. ; 1804-1805, (New Eng. Conf.,) 
same district; 1806, (N, Y. Conf.) Dutchess cir., N. Y., with F. Ward and 
Robert Dillon; 1807, ditto with Wm. Vredenburgh and Wm. Swayze; 1808, 
Brooklyn; 1809-1S10, Albany; 1811-1814, Hudson River Dist; 1815, Chatham 
cir., N. Y., with S. Minor; 1816, New York, with Wm. Thacher, E. Wash- 
burn, L. Andrus, and A'. Scholefield; 181 7, ditto, with N. Bangs, S. Crowell, 
and S. Howe; 1818, New Rochelle cir., with Coles Carpenter; 1819-1820, pre- 
siding elder, Ashgrove Dist. ;i82i-i822, Saratoga Dist.; 1823-1826, Hudson 
River Dist.; 1827, New Haven Dist.; i828-,i83i New York Dist.; 1832, 
New York city, east circuit, with B. Griffin, B. Silleck, P. Chamberlin, and 
P. R. Brown, 1833, ditto, with Laban Clark, B. Griffin, P. Chamberlin, and 
P. R. Brown; 1834, New Rochelle cir., with P. L. Hoyt and E. Woolsey, 
sup'y; 1835, ditto, with B. Daniels and E. Woolsey, sup'y; 1836-1839, New 
York Dist.; 1840-1842, Newburgh Dist.; 1843, superannuated. 

. He is classed among the founders of Methodism in New 
England, all his earlier appointments having been in that 
region. His first presiding elder s district "comprehended, 
during a part of the time, the entire field of Methodism in 
Connecticut, (except one circuit,) most of Rhode Island, 

1 88 Old Sands Street Church. 

and a portion of Massachusetts." 1 Subsequently his labors 
were mostly in the State of New York. He was a member 
of General Conference ten successive terms, 1804 to 1840. 
His conference memorial, in reviewing his remarkable career, 

says : 

From the year 1793 to the year 1843, a full term of fifty years, so remark- 
ably did the Lord preserve him, that only three Sabbaths in all that time was 
he disabled from pulpit service by sickness. Where, in the history of minis- 
ters, shall we find a parallel to this ? For fourteen years he was on circuits, 
eight years in stations, (New York, Brooklyn, and Albany,) and twenty-eight 
years in the office of presiding elder. 2 

On September 3, 1798, he was married to Miss Mary Bowen. 
While pastor in Brooklyn he was the first to call out Marvin 
Richardson by " announcing him to preach without his knowl- 
edge." 3 One of his contemporaries, who, however, survived 
him many years, thus describes his appearance at the close of 
his effective ministry: 

Entering the New York Conference, your attention is attracted by the ap- 
pearance of a venerable man occupying a seat near the platform directly in 
front of the presiding officer. His statue is small and slender, his form erect 
and sinewy, his complexion bronze, his nose sharp, his eyes small but clear 
and piercing, his mouth thin-lipped and compressed, his forehead high and 
broad, over which hang spare locks, well sprinkled with gray. 

He is attired in the costume of the early Methodist preachers ; with black 
suit, the coat round-breasted, the vest buttoned to the chin, and the neck 
minus a collar, encompassed with a white neckerchief of excessive proportions. 
This is Daniel Ostrander, the Cromwell of the New York Conference. His 
face is indicative of vigor ; his head, phrenologically viewed, of an iron will ; 
in fact, the whole expression is that of a man of great energy, determination, 
and perseverance. Nor do his looks belie him. He is uncompromising in 
his antagonism to every form of wrong-doing, and this, when circumstances 
demand, finds expression in no ambiguous terms. His yea is emphatically 
yea ! and his nay, nay ! 

He is a Methodist from conviction and choice, and next to the Gospel he 
has faith in the ultimate ubiquity of the discipline, doctrines, and usages of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. He has just concluded his fiftieth year as an 
effective preacher, and by a vote of the Conference he has been requested to 
preach a semi-centennial sermon. And how wonderful the record of those 
fifty years ! 4 

1 Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 228. 

8 Minutes of Conferences, 1844, p. 472. 

8 Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p.- 254. 

4 Rev. J. L. Gilder, in The Methodist, April, 1874. 

Record of Ministers. 189 

A large audience listened to this sermon in the Allen-street 
church, New York. At this time he insisted upon taking a su- 
perannuated relation, but it doubtless cost him a severe struggle 
of feeling to retire from his much-loved work. It is believed 
to have hastened his death. His memoir says : 

He preached occasionally, on Sabbaths, until his final sickness, and on 
August 29, 1843, at a camp-meeting near Newburgh, delivered his last ser- 
mon, from Psalm cxlvi, 8 : " The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind," etc. It 
is said to have been an able discourse, and one of his happiest efforts. 

Through the whole of the summer he seemed to be ripening for heaven, and 
soon after this last message his health failed. * * * When asked if Christ 
was still precious, with his last and utmost effort he cried, " Yes !" and peace- 
fully fell asleep in Jesus. So lived and labored, and so died Daniel Ostran- 
der, literally worn out in the best cause — his life, from sixteen years of age to 
seventy-two, a living sacrifice to God. 

The date of his departure is December 8, 1843. Bishop 
Hedding preached his funeral sermon from 2 Tim. iv, 7, 8. ; 5 
and his remains were interred in the old burial-ground in Platte- 
kill, Orange county, N. Y., near the scene of his birth and 

The best characterization of Daniel Ostrander that we have 
seen is from the pen of the Rev. J. L. Gilder. He describes 
him as " more aggressive than progressive — in fact, sternly con- 
servative," and enlarges upon this point as follows : 

Jealous of the integrity and purity of Methodism, he regarded her pecul- 
iarities as constituting her chief excellence, and hence he viewed with sus- 
picion whatever would tend to impair or destroy them. Therefore he reso- 
lutely resisted some measures which ultimately became an integral part of 
the economy of the Church. 

He makes note of* his punctuality, his frequent and pointed 
speeches in conference, his intuitive discernment of the right 
and wrong of every question, his consummate skill in unravel- 
ing difficulties which sometimes arose in the course of discus- 
sions, and his calm self-possession in the midst of intense ex- 
citement, on account of which he was sometimes called "the 
balance-wheel of the conference." As Mr. Gilder states, 

He was decided in his convictions, and his position once taken, he was im- 
movable. In his administration he was rather severe and exacting. To the 
requirements of the Discipline he gave the most literal interpretation. It is 
not surprising, therefore, that instances arose in which he was regarded as 

Report in The Christian Advocate. 

190 Old Sands Street Church. 

being dogmatical in his opinions and arbitrary in his measures. He was, 
however, thoroughly honest and conscientious in his convictions and acts ; 
and no flattery on the one hand, nor threats on the other, would cause him 
to swerve one iota from what he conceived to be just and right. 

The casual observer, forming his estimate of Mr. Ostrander by his general 
appearance and manner, might very naturally have considered him devoid of 
tenderness and sympathy, but to those who were brought into intercourse 
with him in social and private life, there was found underlying that rough ex- 
terior a stratum of almost womanly gentleness and kindness of spirit. Among 
his familiar friends he would throw off his usual reticence and be free and un- 
restrained. He would frequently enliven conversation with a spicy anecdote, 
and entertain by the narration of thrilling incidents connected with his itiner- 
ant career. While severe in his denunciations of what was simply mere- 
tricious, he was quick to discern and prompt to encourage real merit. Hence 
the young minister struggling with adverse circumstances, but consecrated to 
his work, found in him a judicious friend and a wise counselor. 

As a preacher, he was distinguished for plainness of speech, depth of 
thought, scriptural language, and powerful appeals to the heart and con- 
science. If he had not elegance of diction or flights of oratory, he was free 
from verbiage. His style was compact, forcible, direct, incisive. He was 
mighty in exhortation, and there are those living who will recall the potency 
of his appeals. 6 

Though possessing a dignity bordering upon sternness, he is 
said to have had " a vein of the brightest humor, which was 
sometimes exhibited to the amusement of his friends." After 
a speech he had delivered in Baltimore, during which he was 
interrupted every few minutes by his opponents calling him to 
order, he met at a dinner party several of those who had at- 
tempted to silence him. One of them said, " Brother Ostran- 
der, you beat all the men I ever saw; it seems to me that if 
twenty jackasses were to run over you when you were speaking, 
they could not break the thread of your discourse." Ostrander 
listened to the remark, then "bringing his fingers to his lips, 
and spitting rapidly three or four times, as if to get rid of some 
lingering bad taste, simply replied, in the most quiet manner 
possible, 'I think I have been pretty well -tried in that way this 
morning.' " 7 

It is cause for gratulation that Mr Ostrander, at the age of 
sixty-seven, withdrew his persistent refusal to sit for a portrait, 
and that the artist has given us an excellent likeness in oil, 
from which the engraving in this book is copied. 

6 Article in The Methodist. 

' Dr. Samuel Luckey, in Sprague's Annals. 

Record of Ministers. 191 

Mary (Bowen,) his wife, was born June 26, 1767^11 Cov- 
entry, R. I. Her father, though regarded as an honorable citi- 
zen, was a man of deistic principles, who late in life, however, 
became a Christian. The gay pleasures of the world did not 
satisfy the daughter, and on hearing a Methodist preacher in 
her twenty-fourth year, she sought and found the Lord. In 
spite of great persecution, she united with the Methodists, 
under the ministry of Ezekiel Cooper, in 1793. Every two 
weeks she rode ten miles on horseback to attend class-meeting. 
Jesse Lee and George Roberts were her pastors, and she 
formed an early acquaintance with Asbury. She heartily ac- 
cepted the lot of an itinerant's wife, and "forgot her own 
people and her father's house." She was an excellent wife and 
mother, noted for "industry," "frugality," "punctuality," and 
"neatness," and her many acts of charity. Through feeble- 
ness and watching over a dying son, in 181 8, her reason gave 
way, and " for some weeks her mind became the sport of the 
enemy." Prayer availed for her recovery She bore the death 
of her husband with amazing fortitude, and in five weeks and 
two days after his decease, on the 14th of February, 1843, she 
peacefully slept in Jesus, in the seventy-seventh year of her age. 
Her grave is beside that of her husband. 8 

Children of Daniel and Mary Ostrander: Almira, who was 
converted at the age of sixteen years, "drank at the fountain- 
head of Methodist doctrine and spirit by direct association with 
Bishops Asbury and George, and others of that noble band of 
pioneers," wrote for the press very creditable articles both in 
prose and poetry, and maintained a glowing religious zeal and 
devotion till her death, in 1879, in the seventieth year of her 
age ; 9 Richard, who' died young ; Daniel Bowen, a highly culti- 
vated, physician, who, after preaching acceptably in the New 
York Conference a number of years, located, entered upon the 
practice of medicine, and died in 1877, leaving one child, a 
son ; Mary U., who married the Rev. Ira Ferris, of the New 
York Conference, and still survives him, (1884,) at the age of 
eighty-two, and among whose five living children is the Rev. 
Daniel Ostrander Ferris, of the New York East Conference. 

8 These facts were furnished for The Christian Advocate by her daughter, 
Miss Almira Ostrander. 

9 Rev. D. O. Ferris, in The Christian Advocate. 



rooklyn charge was the point of departure from 
which two of the early Methodist preachers en- 
tered the Episcopal Church. One of these was the 
Rev. Reuben Hubbard. He was a native of Brimfield, Mass. 
His father's ancestors were of English origin; his mother's 
name was Keep. 1 By his devoted parents "he was led on 
from his earliest infancy to regard himself as set apart for 
the ministry of the word," and he became a member of the 
Methodist Church "as early as his fifteenth year." 2 Joining 
conference about three years later, he continued in the Meth- 
odist ministry twelve years, and thereafter he was for half a 
century connected with the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
The following is an epitome of his entire 

MINISTERIAL RECORD; 1798, Pittsfield dr., Mass., with Joseph 
Sawyer; 1799, Pleasant River cir. , Me.; 1800, ordained deacon, — Bath and 
Union cir., with Timothy Merritt; 1801, Portland; 1802, ordained elder, — 
Greenwich and Warren cir., R. I., with Caleb Morris and C. H. Cobb; 1803, 
Needham cir. , Mass., with Thos. Ravlin; 1804, Marblehead; 1805, Boston, 
with Peter Jayne; 1806, Newport, R. I.; 1807, Gloucester and Manchester cir. ; 
1808, (N. Y. Conf.,) Middletown and Hartfcrd cir., Conn., with James M. 
Smith, P Rice and Joseph Lockwood; 1809, Brooklyn, — withdrew. 

1809, Dec. 22, ordained deacon by Bp. Moore of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church; 1810, (Oct.,) missionary at Duanesborough and places adjacent; 181 1 
[or 1812] — 1818. rector of the churches in Danbury, Redding and Ridgefield, 
Diocese of Conn. ; 1819-1823, rector of St. Michael's, Talbot County, Md., 
1824-1827, rector, St. James Church, Goshen, N. Y. ; 1828, (June) to 1829, 
(Dec.) missionary at Sodus; 1830-1831, missionary at Waterloo and Seneca 
Falls; 1832-1835, missionary at Granville; 1836, several months at Sandy Hill 
and Fort Edward; 1837-1843, missionary at Stillwater and Mechanicsville; 
1844-1845, residing in Waterford; 1846-1849, rector, St. Stephen's Church, 
Schuylerville; 1850-1858, residing at Yonkers. 3 

1 The Rev. Wm. E. Ketcham obtained from Miss Mary Anna Hubbard, 
daughter of Reuben Hubbard, some of the facts here recorded. Dr. A. B. 
Carter states that "the father and other kindred" of Reuben Hubbard are bu- 
ried in Cortlandville, N. Y 2 Funeral address by A. B. Carter, D. D. 

3 His pastoral record in the Episcopal Church is obtained from Sword's Pock- 
et Almanacs, Burgess' List of Deacons, and Diocesan Convention Journals of 
Conn, and N. Y 


Record of Ministers. 193 

He was a member of the General Conference in 1804. The 
following letter, 4 written while he was pastor in Massachusetts, 
was addressed to the Rev. Epaphras Kibby : 

Marblehead, April 3, 1805. 
Dear Brother I was informed by Brother Robinson that you would be 
glad to make an exchange with me the second Sabbath in April. I should be 
very glad to exchange, but I don't know how it will be. Our collections are 
small. They have paid me nothing this quarter, and were able only to pay 
Mr. Bowler for my board, not any thing for interest. Mrs. Bowler talks of 
begging something to defray the expense of an exchange ; (such is the peo- 
ple's attachment to you, not on my account.) If they conclude to do any 
thing, I will come to Boston on Thursday, if I have no further intelligence 
from you. If I cannot come on to Boston to change at the time appointed, 
would it not do a fortnight after, should any thing turn up to make it con- 
venient on my part ? If it will not, please inform me by letter. I am in 
good health, and tolerably good spirits, though nothing very encouraging 
appears among the people. Yours, R. Hubbard. 

It is likely that he raised money enough to meet the 
expense of a trip to Boston ; at all events, he was stationed 
in that city at the ensuing conference. He was greatly 
beloved by the people to whom he ministered ; yet, though 
popular and successful in the Methodist Church, he was for 
some years preparing to go over to the Episcopalians. Dr. 
Carter says : 

In the last conversation I had with him he told me of his success as a 
preacher in those earlier years, and as a proof of the esteem in which he was 
held by the congregation to whom he ministered. In Newport, R. I., a large 
building was erected, and an urgent and repeated call given him to sever his 
connection with the Methodist Society, and become the independent pastor 
of this new church. But this his sense of duty would not allow him to do, as 
he had won their confidence and enlisted their sympathies as a Methodist 
preacher. The church had been built with the money of that denomination, 
and by their rule of discipline, to which he had subscribed and they had 
assented, he must leave, as his allotted time had then expired ; which he 
accordingly did. He told me, however, that at this very time his mind was 
inclining to the ministry of the Episcopal Church, and not very long after- 
ward he entered upon a course of study which was to prepare him for ordina- 
tion. It had been suggested to him that he might, as a minister coming 
from another body, avail himself of the canon referring to such, and thus 
secure a dispensation from some of the studies, which would require more 
time and greater application, but he positively refused to be received upon 
any other than a full standard of requirements ; and so he labored all the 

4 Copied from the original, on file in the library of the New England 
Methodist Historical Society. 

194 Old Sands Street Church. 

more diligently, still, however, preaching to his Methodist brethren every Sun- 
day until he felt himself equal to the preliminary examination. He was fully 
prepared, and consequently passed with credit. 

He organized Episcopal churches in Whitehall, Seneca Falls, 
Glen's Falls, Mechanicsville, and several other places. His re- 
ports at the annual conventions of his diocese breathe the spirit 
of a true missionary, and bear witness to his great labors and 
privations, rarely surpassed by the most apostolic among the 
Methodist heroes. It cannot, it need no.t, be determined 
whether the same zealous devotion in the Methodist Church 
would have accomplished more good. It is true that he moved 
as often, traveled more, obtained less promotion, and probably 
received as little remuneration as when he was an itinerant of 
the itinerants among the Methodists. A few brief extracts 
from his reports may not be amiss. 

In 1824. Goshen. Congregations are small, and they are obliged to make 
great exertions to meet their expenses. 

1831. Seneca Falls. During the winter and spring I preached as often 
as six times a week, besides holding other services. 

1835. Your missionary has been wholly unable to keep up the Sunday- 
school, for want of the support necessary from the people. 

1838. Good seed falls on stony places. 

1840. In these places the current of prejudice sets so strong against the 
Church that I have been able, with all the industry I could use, to produce 
but little inquiry concerning it. But few desire to read our books, or attend 
the services of the Church. 

1843. Communicants in three Churches, thirty-nine. 5 

True to his Methodist instincts and education, he originated 
the plan which resulted in " The Fund for the Relief of the 
Aged and Infirm Clergy of the Diocese." Aged and worn he 
retired to a quiet home in Yonkers, N. Y., where he was 
honored as a patriarch among the people. On the last Christ- 
mas day preceding his departure he spoke to an assembly, 
while "the tears streamed down his furrowed cheeks, as he 
bade them listen to what might be his parting counsels." The 
rector says: 

For nearly seven years he always stood beside me at the holy table, and 
helped me to distribute the precious symbols of a Saviour's dying love. He 
would go anywhere — do any thing — be always ready to assist, where his 
services were needed. Often has he joined me before the morning service, 

5 Journals of Conventions, Diocese of New York. 

Record of Ministers. 195 

saying, as he would put on the priestly robes, " I like, even if I take no part 
in the service, to have my armor on." I never heard him speak an angry 
word, or give expression to an unkind thought, even when there was the 
greatest provocation for both. How many of us can leave behind so precious' 
a memory as this ? 

Just before Mr. Hubbard's death. Dr. Nathan Bangs asked 
him if he would give him his reasons for leaving the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and he answered that after his return from 
a visit he would ; but he died while on that visit. Having 
introduced Episcopal services in Cortlandville, N. Y., where 
some of his kindred resided, he was invited when Grace Chapel 
was erected to visit his old friends, and join them in their 
rejoicings. This he did. It was the grandest outlook of his 
life — it was, indeed, his Mount Nebo, where he died in the 
Lord, February 10, 1859, aged seventy-nine years. The clergy- 
men of the different denominations in Yonkers acted as pall- 
bearers at his funeral. He was buried in the St. John's ceme- 
tery, in Yonkers, where his tombstone may be seen. 

Abagail M., his wife, was a daughter of Dr. Lester, of New 
Haven, Conn., who was for some time president of the Medical 
Society in that city. Her grave is near that of her husband. 

Of their children — six sons and three daughters — eight are 
still living. The eldest, Miss Mary Anna Hubbard, a. member 
of St. John's Episcopal church, Yonkers, N. Y., resides in the 
Ashburton Cottage, where her father lived. One of the sons 
was educated at Union College, another at Hobart. Two sons 
are in the banking business. John Lester, Samuel Seabury, and 
Murray are the names of three of the surviving children. 

he Rev Thomas Drummond will occupy but a 
small space in these pages, "having," so far as any 
known record attests, "neither beginning of days 
nor end of years." He had a prosperous but brief career as 
a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Two of 
those years — a part of each — he was pastor of ^Sands-street 
church. From the Conference Minutes and the church re- 
cords we obtain the following list of his 

APPOINTMENTS: 1808; (Phila. Conf.,) Cambridge dr., McL, with 
James Ridgaway; 1809, Asbury cir., N. J., with P. P. Sandford, — the latter 
part of this year, Brooklyn, N. Y. , in place of R. Hubbard, withdrawn; 1810, 
Staten Island; 1811, ordained deacon, — located; 1813, (N. Y.Conf.,) Stamford 
c ir., Conn., with Benj. Griffin, — came to Sands-street, Brooklyn, the latter 
part of the year; 1814, New York, with Wm. Phoebus, S. Cochran, N. Emery, 
M.Richardson and Wm. Blagborne; 1815, ordained elder, — Albany city sta- 
tion; 1816, expelled. 

That he was a popular minister is apparent from the high 
grade of his appointments. Reference has already been made 
to his faithful instruction of the children of Sands-street 
church before the days of Sunday-schools. At the close of 
each period of his service in Brooklyn he reported an in- 
crease of members. 

It is painful to read the record of his expulsion. He 
might have been held in grateful and lasting remembrance, 
but if known at all in the history of the church, it will be as 
an admonitory beacon. The crime of adultery was the ground 
of the charges against him. On reliable authority it is stat- 
ed that he ran away with the wife of a steward in his church, 
and did not return. 

This man should not be confounded with the Rev Thomas 

Drummond of blessed memory, who "died at his post" in St. 

Louis, in 1834, and concerning whom the Rev. Dr. "Wm. 

Hunter wrote the touching and beautiful lines, commencing-- 

Away from his home and the, friends of his youth, 
He hasted, a herald of mercy and truth. 



hile as yet the Sands-street Church comprised the 
whole of Brooklyn Methodism, it was for more 
than three years under the able and successful 
leadership of the Rev. Lewis Pease. He was born of Chris- 
tian parents, in Canaan, Columbia County, N. Y., August 7, 
1786. In early youth he was troubled with many anxious 
doubts concerning his immortal destiny. Upon this point 
his published memorial says: 

Having been educated in the peculiarities of Calvinism, he feared that the 
eternal decree had forever excluded him from divine mercy; and his distress 
and despair on that account became so great that he was strongly tempted to 
put an end to his own life, to know the worst of his case. But God delivered 
him from that temptation, and directed him to the Methodists, by whom he was 
taught a general atonement and free salvation. 1 

A divine voice whispered peace to his troubled spirit on 
the 30th of January, 1805. He was then in his nineteenth 
year. Soon afterward, while on a bed of sickness, the con- 
viction dawned upon him that he was called to preach the 
gospel. He was licensed first to exhort, and then to preach, 
in the year 1806. 

1 Minutes of Conferences, 1844, p. 475. 

198 Old Sands Street Church. 

ITINERANT RECORD : 1807, (New York Conf.,) Brandon cir., Vt., 
with Geo. Powers; 1808, Cambridge cir., N. Y., with \Vm. Bull; 1809, or- 
dained deacon, — Buckland, Mass.; 18 10, Pownal cir., Vt., with Wm. Swayze; 
1811, ordained elder, — Albany city; 1812 and part of 1813, Brooklyn; 1814 
-i S15, sup'd; 1816, Pittsfield cir., Mass., with James Covel, Jr.; 1817-1818, 
sup'd; 1819-1820, Otis, Mass.; 1821-1822, Brooklyn; 1823-1824, Hartford, 
Conn.; 1825-1826, (Phila. Conf.,) Philadelphia, Union church; 1827-1828, 
(New York Conf.,) presiding elder, Champlain Dist.; 1829, sup'y; 1830, New 
York, with S. Luckey, S. Merwin, S. Martindale, B. Goodsell, H. Bangs, and 
S. D. Ferguson; 1831, ditto, with S. Merwin, S. Martindale, B. Goodsell, S. 
Landon, John Clark, B. Silleck and C Prindle; 1832, sup'y, Lee cir., Mass., 
with Julius Field; 1833, sup'y, Lee and Lenox cir. , with Thomas Sparks, Clark 
Fuller, and S. S. Strong; 1834, ditto, with J. B. Wakeley and E. S. Stout; 
1835, sup'y, Richmond and Stockbridge cir., Mass., with G. Brown and A. 
Rogers; 1836, sup'y, New York. West cir., with C. W. Carpenter. Jas. Covel, 
Jr., Z. Nichols, and L. Mead; employed as chaplain to the New York 
City Hospital; 1837, sup'y, Richmond, Mass., with J. Hudson; 1838, 
ditto, with Wm. Bloomer; 1839, ditto, with A. G. Wickware and B. 
Hibbard ; 1840, ditto, with T. Bainbridge, E. A. Youngs, and B. Hib- 
bard, sup'y; 1841-43, sup'd; 1843, part of the year a supply in North Second- 
street, Troy, N. Y. 

Mr. Pease was greatly embarrassed by feeble health, as might 
be inferred from the frequent occurrence of the words " super- 
numerary " and "superannuated " in connection with his name. 
He was attacked with bleeding at the lungs soon after his re- 
appointment to Brooklyn in 1813, the hemorrhage recurring 
"almost daily for fifteen months." Resuming his labors in 
1816, his health again gave way. 

Concerning his appointment to Brooklyn for a second term, 
his memoir in the Conference Minutes says : 

This was a great trial to him, as his health was poor, and he had once failed 
on that station ; 2 but for his relief, the Church obtained the assistance of a 
local preacher the first year, and a revival of religion commenced in August 
of the first year, and continued to the close of the last, and two hundred souls 
were added to the Church. 

It has already been recorded that the membership was nearly 
doubled under his ministry in two years — an unparalleled 
increase in the history of Sands-street church. 

His retirement from the Champlain District was caused 
by a violent return of his disease. In 1835 he was called 

2 It was an unwelcome appointment, moreover, because "his predecessor, 
Alexander M'Caine, had left the station in a deranged condition." — Billy 
Hibbard, in Christian Advocate and Journal, October 25, 1843. 

Record of Ministers. 199 

to part with his beloved wife. After a few months he married 

His closing labors were performed while serving as a supply- 
in Troy, N. Y., during the illness of the pastor. There, as in 
other places, he did the work of an evangelist, and made full 
proof of his ministry. Assisted by another preacher, he was per- 
mitted to gather 208 persons into the church in a few weeks. 

From scrofulous affection of the lungs and of the other vital 
organs, he suffered months of pain almost beyond endurance ; 
"but he was wonderfully supported by divine grace, and on the 
borders of the grave he was happy in prayer, and singing praises 
to God." To his ministerial brethren he sent this dying mes- 
sage : 

Tell the conference that I died in the full faith of the Gospel, as taught by 
the Methodists ; yes, tell the Bishops, the elders, and the preachers, that I love 
them, * * * and that I die in peace. 

When he could speak no more, "he gave his weeping wife a 
silent token that all was well," and sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, 
on the 5th of September, 1853, aged fifty-seven years. The 
Rev. Thomas Bainbridge preached his funeral sermon, and the 
Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian clergymen acted as pall- 
bearers. He is buried in Canaan, N. Y. 

Lewis Pease was greatly respected and beloved. His breth- 
ren elected him delegate to General Conference in 1828 and 
1832. His early advantages were small, and perhaps his scho- 
lastic attainments were never remarkable; but he is declared to 
have been a diligent student, and, as a preacher, remarkably 
" efficient, impressive, at times pathetic, and always acceptable." 
Dr. Wakeley says : 

Mr. Pease had great power as an exhorter. In May, 1834, I preached dur- 
ing the session of the New York Conference, in Sands-street church, Brook- 
lyn, and he followed the sermon by an exhortation. He had been stationed 
in Brooklyn a few years before, when the population was comparatively small, 
and a powerful revival had occurred in connection with his labors, of which he 
gave many most touching reminiscences, particularly in respect to those who 
had with him fought the battles of the Lord and fallen at their posts. But he 
was an admirable preacher as well as exhorter. His sermons were chiefly of the 
expository kind, but they were well digested, and full of judicious, scriptural 
thought, and delivered in an earnest, impressive manner. He always preached 
well, but it required a great occasion to bring out his full strength. At quar- 
terly meetings or camp-meetings he was very apt to appear as the master- 
spirit. I recall particularly an instance of his overwhelming power at a camp- 

200 Old Sands Street Church. 

meeting at Hillsdale, N. Y., in the fall of 1834. The text was highly charged 
with terror : " For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is 
red : it is full of mixture ; and he poureth out of the same : but the dregs 
thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them." 
For more than two hours there was a vast sea of upturned faces, gazing at him 
in breathless silence, as he delivered one of the most alarming sermons I ever 
heard. It seemed as if the preacher was actually standing between heaven 
and hell, with the songs of the redeemed and the wailings of the lost both vi- 
brating in his ears, and throwing his whole soul into an effort to secure the 
salvation of his hearers. The description throughout was so unutterably ter- 
rific, that it seemed that every wicked man in the assembly must have been 

But his preaching was not always of the bold and alarming character. He 
knew how to present the most precious and consoling truths of the Gospel with 
great effect ; and sometimes, by an exhibition of the love of Christ, he would 
open fountains of tears all over the audience. 3 

The same writer — an intimate friend and colleague of Mr. 
Pease — thus describes his personal appearance : 

He was tall and slender, with a long face, rendered thin and pale by dis- 
ease, of light complexion, fine forehead, penetrating eyes, with a general ex- 
pression of countenance at once grave and intellectual. 

Of his first wife we have no definite knowledge, except that 
she died March 17, 1835, while he was attached to the Lee and 
Lenox circuit, that she was some years his senior, and that there 
were no children by this marriage. 

Miss Ann Eliza Wheeler became his second wife when he 
was in his fiftieth year, and she was twenty-two years of age. 
She was a native of Great Barrington, Mass. After his death, 
which was soon followed by the death of three of their five 
children, she remained a widow several years. Her second 
husband was Robert Disney, of Utica, N. Y., "a good but 
eccentric man, by whom she had one child that died in infancy. 
Then followed a second widowhood." Mr. Disney left her 
a comfortable home, and sufficient means of support. 

In 1874 she was married to the Rev. James Erwin, a promi- 
nent minister of the Central New York Conference. This 
union lasted four years, and " the mortal scene closed " in Caz- 
enovia, N. Y., November 19, 1878, in the sixty-sixth year of her 
age. Her last v/ords were " Precious Jesus ! " Dr. Wm. Reddy 

Manuscript prepared for Sprague's Annals. 

Record of Ministers. 201 

preached her funeral sermon, and wrote an obituary for the 
Northern Christian Advocate, from which are taken most of 
the facts here recorded. She sleeps in Oakwood cemetery, in 
Syracuse, N. Y 

She was a woman of fine intellect, attractive social qualities, 
and uncommon energy; remarkably gifted in prayer and exhor- 
tation, a helper in the Gospel, and " a succorer of many." It 
was a great delight to her in her last days, as the wife of a pre- 
siding elder, to renew her personal connection with the itiner- 
ancy, and she spent much of her time in visiting, with her hus- 
band, the various churches in his extensive district. 

A promising young man, son of Lewis and Ann Eliza Pease, 
whose initials were W, P., died a few years ago in Brooklyn, N.Y 

Millie A., the only daughter who lived to maturity, was an 
estimable woman. She became the wife of the Rev. William 
C. Steele, of the New York East Conference, and died at Sea 
Cliff, L. I., September 20, 1873. 


ands Street Church received for its pastor, in 
1815, the Rev. Nathan Emery His ministry 
there is memorable on account of its connection 
with the origin of Sunday-schools in Brooklyn. 

Mr. Emery was born in Minot, Maine, August 5, 1780. He 
was of the sixth generation descended from John Emery, 
who came from England with his brother, Anthony Emery, 
to Newburv, Mass., in 1635. Moses Emery, father of Nathan, 
was the first settler in Minot, and built the first mill in that 
town. His wife, Nathan's mother, was Ruth Bodwell before 
marriage, and (on the authority of her son Stephen) was 
one of the most pious of women, who "could not remember 
the time of her conversion, or the time when she did not love 
to pray " Such a woman could not fail to be blessed in her 
children. They were six in number. The eldest was Ruth, 
who married John Downing. "She never went to school, but 
learned to write so well that she taught her youngest broth- 
er, Stephen, and so anxious was she to help him to a college 
training, that she used to knit and sew, and actually peel 
bark with her own hands to obtain means to aid her broth- 
er in his struggle to acquire an education." Moses, the 
eldest son became a Methodist local preacher. The third 
child was Olive, who married Ezekiel Loring, and settled in 
Ohio. The fourth is the subject of this sketch. The fifth was 
Polly, who married Ebenezer Emerson, and lived and died 

Record of Ministers. 203 

in Bridgeton, Maine. The youngest was Stephen, a graduate 
of Bowdoin College, lawyer, judge, attorney-general, etc. He 
resided in Paris, Me., and died there in 1863. Two of his 
daughters married ex-Senator Hamlin, and a son, George F 
Emery, to whom the author is indebted for the foregoing facts, 
was recently connected with The Boston Post. 

When Nathan Emery was fourteen years of age, (1794,) he 
heard at his father's house the first Methodist preacher who 
ever visited that region. The next summer, he and several 
other members of the family became Christians, and joined the 
class. One year later, at the remarkably youthful age of six- 
teen, he was appointed class-leader. 

Early in 1799, when nineteen years of age, he was licensed 
to preach, and served under the presiding elder as a supply 
until conference. Here follows his 

CONFERENCE RECORD : 1799, Readfield dr., Me., with John 
Broadhead ; 1800, Needham cir., Mass., with John Finnegan; 1801, ordained 
deacon, Union, Me.; 1802, (N. E. Conf.,) Norridgwock cir., Me., with'N. 
Coye ; 1803, (New York Conf.,) Middletown cir., Conn., with Abner Wood ; 

1804, (New Eng. Conf., by change of boundaries,) ditto, with E. Washburn ; 

1805, New London cir., with T. Branch ; 1806, (New York Conf.,) Litchfield 
cir., with S. Cochran ; 1807, Granville cir., Mass. and Conn., with P. Rice ; 
1808, Long Island cir., N. Y, with N. U. Tompkins and H. Redstone; 1809, 
Courtland cir., with H. Eames ; 1810, Redding cir., Conn., with J. Russell ; 
1811, Newburgh cir., N. Y., with J. Edmonds ; 1812, ditto, with J. Beeman 
and S. Fowler; 1813, New Windsor cir., with Ez. Canfield ; 1814, .New 
York city cir., with Wm. Phoebus, S. Cochran, M. Richardson, T. Drum- 
mond, and Wm. Blagborne; 1815, Brooklyn ; 1816, New Rochelle cir., with 
S. Arnold and Coles Carpenter; 1818, Burlington cir., Conn., with C. Silli- 
man ; 1819, ditto, with C. Culver ; 1820, Goshen cir., with S. Dayton ; 1821, 
sup'd ; 1822-1828, located ; 1828, traveled Columbus cir., Ohio, under the 
presiding elder ; 1829-1830, (Ohio Conf.,) Zanesville, Ohio; 1831, Cincinnati 
station, with J. B. Finley, E. W. Sehon, S. A. Latta ; 1832, ditto, with T. 
A. Morris, W. B. Christie, and E. W. Sehon ; 1833, Marietta cir., with W. 
Young ; 1834, Chillicothe ; 1835, Worthington ; 1836, chaplain of peniten- 
tiary, Columbus ; 1836, Delaware cir., with J. R Austin ; 1838-1840, sup'd. 

Ebenezer Washburn, his traveling colleague in 1804, de- 
scribes him as " a loving companion in labor, pious, laborious, 
a good preacher, and a lover of Wesleyan Methodism." On 
the 20th of May, 1806, about the time of his appointment to 
the Litchfield circuit, he was united in marriage to Miss Cla- 
rissa Frothingham, of Middletown, Conn. 

At the close of his pastoral term in Long Island, (1808,) he 

204 Old Sands Street Church. 

reported an increase of fifty members. The church in Brook- 
lyn was in a flourishing condition when he was pastor there, 
and under his administration the first Sunday-school was or- 
ganized in March, 1816. He was a member of General Con- 
ference in 1804 and 1816. Under his ministry, on the New 
Rochelle circuit, in 181 7, a young man named David Holmes 
was led to the Saviour and licensed to exhort, who afterward 
became a prominent member of the New York Conference. 

Soon after taking a superannuated relation in 182 1, Mr. Em- 
ery removed to Blendon, (now Westerville,) Ohio, where he pur- 
chased a small farm. His health improved, and, being unwill- 
ing to burden his brethren, he asked for and obtained a 
location in 1822, but, as indicated above, soon resumed his 
itinerant labors. When permanently superannuated, though 
his health steadily declined, he labored both in the field and in 
the pulpit till near the close of his life. He preached on Sun- 
day, May 20, 1849, and gave out an appointment for the suc- 
ceeding Sabbath. On Thursday he was taken sick, and died 
on the morning of the following Sabbath, about the hour for 
the service to begin. His conference memorial says: 

Father Emery, as he was familiarly and affectionately called, was no ordi- 
nary man. His preaching talents were not showy, but, far better than showy, 
they were useful. His ministrations were practical, and always characterized 
by good sense, great zeal for God, and a deep concern for the salvation of 
souls. Of a sweet and amiable spirit, he was greatly beloved of men — of 
deep and uniform piety, he was greatly honored of God. 

He had always looked with some degree of dread to the conflict with his 
last enemy. And as he saw the hour of his dissolution at hand, he besought 
the Lord earnestly for dying grace. And dying grace was given. He took 
an affectionate leave of his friends, and especially his daughter, an only 
child, to whom he spoke many precious words of consolation. As he ap- 
proached the Jordan of death his soul became more and more enraptured 
with the visions of glory that were revealed to him upon the other shore. 
And while passing through its chilling waters, he said, " O how gently my 
Saviour leads me through." Just as the spirit was about to take its flight, he 
looked upward, and fixing his eyes as if upon some object of unutterable love- 
liness, in a low whisper he exclaimed, " Up ! up! up ! " These were his last 
words on earth. 1 

The house in which he died is yet standing, (1881,) just out- 
side the limits of Westerville. He is buried, with his wife, in 
the Methodist Episcopal cemetery of that place, about fifty 

'Conference Minutes, 1849, p. 386. 

Record of Ministers. 205 

yards from the parsonage. Some years ago " his nephew, Mr. 
Selah Sammis, erected upon his grave a marble stone that 
might be called a small monument." 2 Upon this stone is in- 
scribed the following : 

Rev. N. Emery, 

Born in Minot, Maine, August 10, 1 780. 

Died May 27, 1849. 





Mr. Emery rendered excellent service to the church, and wher- 
ever his name is remembered it is "as ointment poured forth." 
Much inquiry has been made in vain for a description of his 
personal appearance, and no portrait is extant. The bold and 
striking signature, written in 181 6, in the Sands-street church 
record, might be taken to indicate grace of manner combined 
with decision of character. 

His wife, Clarissa (Frothingham,) was connected with a 
prominent family in Middletown, Conn. For nearly forty years 
they journeyed heavenward together. " Amiable, talented, 
gentle as an angel of light, she followed her husband from field 
to field of his labor; " 3 and on the 18th of December, 1845, 
less than four years previous to his decease, her sanctified spirit 
passed peacefully to the land of the blessed. She was sixty- 
three years of age. A plain marble slab designates the place 
of her repose, beside»the grave of her husband. 

They left an only daughter, Mary. " She was married to a 
Mr. Leanheart, who died ; and she afterward married a Mr. 
Pierce, who lived four miles east of Lancaster, O. There she 
died and is buried near Emery chapel, on Sugar Loaf Grove cir- 
cuit, of the Ohio Conference. Her children are all dead. 

m 4 

2 Letter of the Rev. L. F. Postle to the author. 

3 J. B. Finley, Western Methodism, p. 331. 

4 L. F Postle's letter. 


he veterans of Brooklyn Methodism unite with the 
"fathers" in other parts of the land in blessing the 
name of the Rev. William Ross. Two different 
terms he was their pastor, and he died and was buried among 

Mr. Ross was born in Tyringham, Mass., February jo, 1792. 
He was instructed in those branches of learning then com- 
monly taught in the schools, but his desire and capacity for 
obtaining knowledge were far greater than his opportunities. 
The story of his conversion at the age of sixteen years 
has been told as follows: 

He was awakened under a sermon preached by the Rev. John Robertson. 
The conviction thus produced was lasting and pungent. When Mr. Robertson 
came to fill his next appointment in the neighborhood, a ball having been ap, 
pointed at the same time, young Ross asked his mother to which he should go. 
Not receiving a direct answer, his inclination got the better of his judgment, 
now partially enlightened by the dawn of gospel truth, and he accordingly went 
to the ball. He had not been there long, however, before he was siezed with 
such agony of mind that he was constrained to leave this place of worldly 
mirth, and, retiring to a secluded spot, he poured out his soul ' 'with strong 
crying and tears unto Him that was able to save;" and this he continued, with 
the use of other means of grace, from time to time, until he obtained deliver- 
ance from his sins. 1 

We united with the Methodists, instituted family prayer 
in his father's house, prayed and exhorted with great fervor 
and power, and, at the age of twenty years, was received in- 
to the ranks of the traveling ministry 

APPOINTMENTS: 1812, (New York Conf.,) Dunham cir., Vt. and 
Canada, with J. T Addoms; 1813, Charlotte cir., Vt., with J. Byington; 1814, 
ordained deacon, — Plattsburgh cir., N. Y., with N. "White; 1815, Grand Isle, 
Vt.; 1816, ordained elder, — Chatham and Hudson cir., N. Y., with Henry 
Eames; 1817, Pittsfield cir., Mass., with T. Benedict; 1818, Brooklyn; 1819, 

1 Methodist Magazine, 1825, p. 127. 


Record of Ministers, 207 

1820, Troy ; 1821, Ne\v York city, with J. Soule, E. Hebard, M. Richard- 
son, H. Bangs, and J. Summerfield ; 1822, ditto, with E. Washburn, M. Rich- 
ardson, S. Martindale, H. Bangs, and J. Summerfield; 1823-1824, Brooklyn. 

His first appointment was in the region most affected by 
the excitement occasioned by the war with Great Britain, and 
he abandoned that part of the circuit belonging to Canada. 
How this came about is very pleasantly told by one of his 
friends, the Rev. Fitch Reed, as follows : 

Preaching one evening in the town of Stanbridge, Canada, where was a 
large society of strict Calvinistic Baptists, he discoursed on the question of 
the possibility of falling from grace. In answer to the frequent assertion that 
although a Christian might fall away for a time, he could not die until-he was 
restored, he replied : " In that case, sin is a sure preservative of life ; for if 
you would furnish me with an army of five thousand backslidden Christians, 
and they could be kept from praying, I could conquer the world, for no 
bullet could touch them as long as they could be kept from prayer." 

This his Baptist hearers did not at all relish, and the next day some of 
them reported him to the commanding officer of the district, affirming that 
Mr. Ross had declared in a public congregation that with an army of five 
thousand men he could easily conquer all Canada. This, of course, was not 
to be allowed. Shortly afterward the officer waited on the preacher, and in- 
formed him that he must either take the oath of allegiance, or pass beyond 
the lines. He chose the latter. 8 

Mr. Ross wrote in his diary the following brief record of this 
experience : 

The time has come which I have for some days expected ; that is, I aui 
forbid to ride any more in the province, unless I take the oath. Accordingly, 
as soon as convenient, I shall take my departure for the States. 

In addition to these embarrassments, he was in delicate 
health ; but his prudence, faithfulness, and zeal were crowned 
with success in winning souls to Christ. 

While in his fourth appointment, at Grand Isle, Vt., in 18 15, 
he preached a sermon which was the means of the conversion 
of Seymour Landon, and soon afterward received him into the 
church. 8 This young man became one of the most honored 
ministers in this region, and one of the successors of Wm. Ross 
in the Brooklyn charge. 

While stationed in New York he was frequently invited to 
speak at the anniversaries of the Bible, missionary, and Sun- 

quoted by Carroll, in " Case and His Contemporaries," vol. i, p. 278. 
3 Landon's " Fifty Years in the Itinerant Ministry." 

208 Old Sands Street Church. 

day-school societies. An excellent address on education, which 
he delivered before the Wesleyan Seminary in New York, was 
published in full. 4 

Concerning his return to Brooklyn for a second pastoral 
term, his biographer says : 

He had to encounter a mass of prejudice, as formidable as it was unjustifi- 
able, and which a less heroic mind would have shrunk from assailing ; but, 
being conscious of the purity of his motives and conduct, he entered upon the 
duties of his station with that Christian and ministerial firmness, meekness, 
and patience, " knowing no man after the flesh," which completely disarmed 
his enemies who had misjudged him, and finally won all hearts and estab- 
lished an empire in their affections which death only rendered the more firm 
and lasting. 5 

He was a member of the General Conference of 1824, and 
the author of " the luminous and able report of the Committee 
on Missions." 6 He returned from this conference to engage in 
protracted revival services in Brooklyn during the exhausting 
heat of summer, and his bodily health proved insufficient for 
the strain he put upon it. In the early part of the following 
winter he had engaged a substitute for a third service on the 
Sabbath : but the preacher failing to come, he stood in the pul- 
pit with trembling and great weakness, and delivered his last 
public message. The sermon was attended with converting 
and awakening power, but the preacher went home to die. He 
had often spoken of premonitions of his departure. His last 
love-feast testimony in old Sands street church closed with these 
words : 

I feel, brethren, that my stay with you will be but short ; but, blessed be 
God ! when he calls, I am ready. If I should die to-night you will take care 
of the body and God will take care of the soul, and all will be well. 7 

While wasting rapidly with consumption his faith triumphed 
over disease and the prospect of dissolution. Heaven seemed 
near, and he exclaimed, " Drop the curtain, and I am in 
glory ! " 

To quote further from his biography : 

Mrs. Ross, sensible that he would not survive, said : " I hope you have 
given your friends and family up to God." " Ah, my dear," he replied, " you 

4 See Methodist Magazine, 1822, p. 139. 5 Methodist Magazine. 

6 Sprague's Annals. 7 Sketch in Methodist Magazine. 

Record of Ministers. 209 

are the last that I shall give up." It was said to him : " I hope, whether 
you survive or not, that the Lord will be with you," He replied, with great 
firmness, " I have not a doubt of that." 

As he lay dying he responded heartily to the prayers that 
were offered ; and, while friends were raising him gently in his 
bed, he uttered those last words, " My work is done," and im- 
mediately fell asleep in Jesus, February 10, 182^, in the thirty- 
third year of his age. Dr. Bangs preached his funeral sermon. 
Soon after his death the widow and her children received a 
substantial token of affection from the people of Brooklyn. 8 

After slumbering about fifty years in the old Sands-street 
church-yard, his remains were removed to " Greenwood." The 
original head-stone was left to mark the spot where his weep- 
ing friends first laid him down to rest. 

Many witnesses offer their eulogistic testimony concerning 
the talent and faithfulness of William Ross. They speak of him 
as " a gifted young preacher ; " 9 "a natural orator, his sermons 
abounding in striking pictures and images ; " 10 " a man of 
power in the pulpit, some of whose sermons would compare well 
with those of the most eloquent of his brethren." " One who 
knew him well from the time of his first appointment to Brook- 
lyn says : " He was one of the most laborious and zealous min- 
isters I ever knew ; he preached five sermons in one Sabbath 
not long before his death." ia At the same time they tell us 
that he was " a man of great modesty and diffidence," 13 and 
" very amiable, and greatly beloved." " As to his appearance, 
he is thus described : 

Mr. Ross was a man of engaging personal appearance. He was of moder- 
ate stature and well-formed, and of a benignant and agreeable countenance. 
His manners were at once genteel and dignified. 

Miss Huldah E. Jones was married to William Ross in 
1816. It was the author's most delightful privilege to become 
acquainted with her as the widow of William Rushmore, of 

8 A gift of $1,200. See Bangs' Hist. M. E. Church. 

9 Rev. Myron Breckenridge in The Christian Advocate. 

10 Rev. Nathaniel Kellogg. 

11 Dr. Laban Clark, in Sprague's Annals. 

12 Judge Dikeman — conversation with the author. 

13 Conference Minutes, 1825, p. 476. 

14 Bangs' Hist. M. E. Church. 

210 Old Sands Street Church. 

Brooklyn, N. Y Bright, cheerful, intelligent — one of God's 
precious saints, she lived to a ripe old age, and was called home 
in the early part of 1884 to mingle with the pure spirits she had 
loved on earth. 

To these parents four children were born, namely : William 
Henry, drowned in 1824, aged three years; Lucy Almira, mar- 
ried Stephen Crowell, Esq., of Brooklyn, died a few years since, 
a member of Summerfield Methodist Episcopal Church ; Mary 
E., married the Rev. Thomas H. Burch, died suddenly July 10, 
1884, much lamented ; William G. } died about i860, in Brook- 
lyn, N. Y 




wo years as pastor and one year as presiding elder, 
the Rev. Nathan Bangs, D. D. was associated 
with Sands-street church. After Asbury died, no 
man in Methodism wielded a more potent and permanant 
influence than Dr. Bangs. He was born in Stratford, Conn., 
May 2, 1778. Removing to Stamford, Delaware Co., N. Y. 
when thirteen years of age, he grew up on a farm in that 
(then) frontier country, attended school when he could, and 
taught school at eighteen years of age. In 1799 he went to 
Canada, and, as teacher and surveyor, he resided in the Ni- 
agara region three years. There, through the faithful min- 
istry of James Coleman, and later of Joseph Sawyer, he "was 
powerfully affected," and led to consecrate himself to Christ. 
This was in 1800, when he was twenty-one years of age. 
For opening his school with prayer he was persecuted and 
driven away; but this severe treatment only drove him to 
closer fellowship with Christian people, and a more decided 
renunciation of the world. Stevens says: 

He conformed himself to the severest customs of the Methodists. He had 
prided himself on his fine personal appearance, and had dressed in the full fash- 
ion of the times, with ruffled shirt and long hair in a cue. He now ordered 
his laundress to take off his ruffles; his long hair shared the same fate, not, 
however, without the remonstrance of his pious sister, who deemed his rigor 
unnecessary, and admired his young but manly form with a sister's pride. 1 

He had been a Methodist about one year when he was li- 
censed, first as an exhorter, then as a local preacher. He 
very soon disposed of his surveyor's instruments, bought a 
horse and saddle-bags, and "rode forth to sound the alarm 
in the wilderness." Thus we come to his 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1801, supply on Niagara dr., Canada, with 
Joseph Sawyer and Seth Crowell; 1802, (New York Conf. ,) Bay of Quinte and 

1 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 482. 

212 Old Sands Street Church. 

Home Dist., with Jos. Sawyer and Peter Vannest ; 1803, ditto, with Jos. Saw- 
yer and Thomas Madden ; 1804, ordained deacon and elder — River Le 
Trench ; 1805, Oswegatchie cir., with S. Keeler ; 1806, Quebec ; 1807, Niag- 
ara cir. , with T. Whitehead and N. Holmes ; 180S, Delaware cir., N. Y., 
with Robert Dillon ; 1809, Albany cir., with I. B. Smith ; 18 10, New York, 
with Eben Smith, J. Robertson, Jas. M. Smith, and P P. Sandford ; 1811, 
ditto, with Wm. Phoebus, Laban Clark, Wm. Blagborne, Jas. M. Smith, and 
P. P Sandford ; 1812, appointed to Montreal, Canada, but deterred from go- 
ing on account of the war with Great Britain ; 1813-1816, presiding elder, 
Rhinebeck Dist. ; 1817, New York city, with D. Ostrander, S. Crowell, and 
S. Howe ; 1818, ditto, with Laban Clark, S. Crowell, S. Howe, and T. 
Thorp ; 1819, presiding elder New York Dist. ; 1820-1823, senior book 
agent with Thos. Mason ; 1824-1827, ditto, with John Emory ; 1828-1831, 
editor of the Christian Advocate and Journal ; 1832-1835, editor of the Meth- 
odist Quarterly Review and books of the General Catalogue ; 1836-1840, resi- 
dent corresponding secretary of the Missionary Society ; 1841-1842, president 
of the Wesleyan University ; 1843, New York city, Second-street ; 1844-1845, 
New York, Greene-street ; 1846, Brooklyn, Sands-street, with J. C. Tacka- 
berry, sup'y ; 1847, ditto, with J. B. Merwin ; 1848-1851, (New York East 
Conf.,) presiding elder New York Dist. ; 1852-1862, superannuated. 

He received fifty consecutive annual appointments, and yet, 
as pastor, presiding elder, book agent, editor, and superannuated 
preacher, he was a resident of New York for nearly half a cent- 
ury. His early efforts at preaching were attended with variable 
success, and he sometimes became quite discouraged ; but his 
zeal commended him to the conference, and, though absent, he 
was received on probation. Concerning the seven years of his 
heroic service in Canada his conference memorial says : 

He braved the hardships of the itinerancy, traveling long circuits, sleeping 
on the floors of log-cabins or in the woods, fording streams, sometimes at the 
peril of his life, carrying with him food for himself and his horse, and eating 
his humble meals beneath the trees which sheltered him by night, preaching 
almost daily, facing wintry storms through unsettled tracts of land forty or 
fifty miles in extent, and suffering attacks of the epidemic diseases of the 
country, which sometimes brought him to the verge of the grave. He seldom 
received fifty dollars a year during these extreme labors and sufferings. He 
was sometimes assailed by mobs ; his life was imperiled by the conspiracy of 
persecutors to waylay him in the woods by night ; but he never faltered. He 
founded several new circuits and many societies. He preached from the west- 
ernmost settlement on the Thames River, opposite Detroit, to Quebec ; and, 
on leaving the country, records that he had proclaimed his message in every 
city, town, village, and nearly every settlement of Upper Canada. 2 

In one of his journeys he undertook to call on every family 
and pray with them ; and at only one house was he repulsed. 

2 Minutes of Conferences, 1863, p. 64. 

Record of Ministers. 213 

Dr. De Puy has thus described his return from the conference 
of 1804 : 

He went from New York by way of Kingston, along the northern shore of 
Lake Ontario, and thence westward to the River Thames. He lodged for 
the night in a log-hut, the last in the settlement. The next day he traveled 
forty-five miles through an unbroken wilderness, without a dwelling of any 
kind, and being guided only by the marks on the trees. He arrived at sunset 
at a solitary log-hut, weary, hungiy, and thirsty. The best possible fare was 
hospitably afforded him, namely, some Indian pudding and milk for supper, 
and a bundle of straw for his bed. It was a real luxury? 

How the young itinerant learned an important lesson by his 
experience is thus told by one of his friends and successors in 
Canada : 

While passing one day through a sparsely settled section of country, the 
weather being very cold and the newly-fallen snow quite deep, his mind be- 
came more than usually impressed with the value of souls, and his heart 
burned with desire to do all he could to save them. In the midst of his re- 
flections he came opposite a dwelling that stood quite a distance from the road 
in the field. Instantly he was impressed to go to the house and talk and pray 
with the family. He could see no path through the deep snow, and he felt 
reluctant to wade that distance and expose himself to the cold, and perhaps, 
after all, accomplish no good. He resolved not to go. No sooner had he 
passed the house than the impression became doubly strong, and he was con- 
strained to turn back. He fastened his horse to the fence, waded through the 
snow to the house, and not a soul was there ! From that time he resolved 
never to confide in mere impressions. 4 

John Carroll says that Bangs had two sisters in Niagara cir- 
cuit. One of them, who afterward married the Rev Joseph 
Gatchel, could exhort, as a certain brother declared, " like a 
streak of red-hot lightning." Nathan Bangs was married while 
in Canada, in* 1806, to Miss Mary Bolton, of Edwardsburgh, 
Ontario. On the Delaware circuit, in 1808, he received his 
brother, Heman Bangs, into the church. 8 

We have a striking illustration of his great zeal and endur- 
ance in his long ride on horseback from New York city to De- 
troit. 7 His standing and influence in the church may be in- 
ferred from his having been eleven times a member of General 

3 " One Hundred Facts," etc. 

4 Dr. Fitch Reed, in Northern Christian Advocate, Jan. 14, 1863. 
8 " Case and his Contemporaries," vol. i, p. 224. 

' Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 256. * Ibid., p. 352. 

214 Old Sands Street Church. 

Conference, that is, of every one from 1808 to 1856, save that 
of 1848. 

In eight years, by skillful management, he brought the Book 
Concern out of financial embarrassment, and became " the 
founder of that great institution in its present effective organi- 
zation." His memorial says : 

At the time of his appointment to its agency it was sinking under debt ; it 
was comprised in a small book-store on John-street ; it had no premises of its 
own, no printing-press, no bindery, no newspaper ; under his administration 
it was provided with them all. 

During the same time he performed a very great amount of 
editorial work for The Christian Advocate and The Methodist 
Magazine. Of all his " vast and varied labors " the most hon- 
ored and important were in connection with the missionary cause. 

He was one of thefounders of our Missionary Society ; he wrote its con- 
stitution, its first circular to the conferences, its first appeal to the churches, 
presided at its first public meeting, and during more than twenty years wrote 
all its annual reports. While its resident secretary, he devoted to it all his 
energies, conducting its correspondence, planning its mission fields, seeking 
missionaries for it, preaching for it in the churches, and representing it in the 
conferences. It will be monumental of his memory in all lands to which its 
beneficent agency may extend, and if no other public service could be attrib- 
uted to him, this alone would render him a principal historic character of 
American Methodism, if not, indeed, of American Protestantism. 8 

No other man ever had a primary or initial agency in so 
many of the great interests of our denomination as Dr. Bangs. 
He founded Methodism in Quebec, and many other parts of 
Canada; assisted in the organization of the Delegated General 
Conference; is recognized as the founder of our periodical 
literature, the originator of our conference course of study, 
and " one of the founders of our present system of educational 
institutions." He was the first clerical editor of The Christian 
Advocate, and the first editor of the Quarterly Review. He is 
styled ''the founder of the American literature of Methodism," 
and, as Dr. Stevens affirms, he "wrote more volumes in defense 
or illustration of his denomination than any other man, and 
became its recognized historian." 9 A writer for M'Clintock and 
Strong's Cyclopedia says : " Dr. Bangs was a man of vigor and 

8 Conference Minutes, 1863, p. 65. 

9 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 481. For complete list of his works, see 

Alumni Record, Wesleyan University, 1883. 

Record of Ministers. 215 

force — a fighter, if need be, to the last." In his well-written 
conference memorial his character is thus described: 

He was robust in intellect, in soul, and in body. In his prime he was a 
weighty preacher, a powerful debater, an energetic and decisive, if not an 
elegant, writer. He was a steadfast friend; a staunchly loyal Methodist, a 
charitable and truly catholic Christian. 

He had his faults, and, like every thing else in his nature, they were strongly 
marked. But if he was abrupt sometimes in his replies, or emphatic in his 
rebukes, no man was ever more habitually ready to retract an undeserved 
severity, or acknowledge a mistake. 

For about two years after his superannuation he went in and out among 
our metropolitan churches, venerated and beloved as a chief patriarch of 
Methodism. As he approached the grave his character seemed to mellow 
into the richest maturity of Christian experience. His favorite theme of con- 
versation and preaching was " entire sanctification." 10 

He died in great peace, in New York city, May 3, 1862, aged 
eighty-four years and one y day. His funeral took place in 
St. Paul's church, New York, and his remains were interred in 
"Greenwood." A valuable history of his life was written by 
one of our ablest men." 

Mary (Bolton,) his widow, died in New York, May 23, 
1864, in the seventy-eighth year of her age. She was a native 
of Canada, and was of French origin on her mother's side. 
She is buried by the side of her husband in Greenwood ceme- 
tery, and their graves are designated by a granite monument. 

Seven of their eleven children are dead. The following list 

is copied from the Wesleyan University Alumni Record, 1883. 

Nancy, b. 1807, d. 1807; Lemuel, b. 1809; Wm. M'Kendree, b. 1810, 
d. 1852; Nathan, b. 1813, d. 1856; Mary Eliza, b. 1815, d. 1857; Elijah 
Keeler, b. 1817 ; Grace Shotwell, b. 1819, d. 1847 ; Susan Cornelia, b. 1821, 
d. 1822; Joseph Henry, b. 1823, d. i860; Rebecca, b. 1825; Francis N., 
b. 1828. 

Lemuel Bangs is a well-known citizen of New York. Win. 
M'Kendree Bangs was an honored minister of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. Elijah Keeler Bangs, of Bangs & Co., New 
York, was graduated at the Wesleyan University. Francis JV, 
Bangs, LL.B., has been president of the New York Bar Associa- 
tion. Mary Eliza and Rebecca Bangs were members of Sands- 
street church. 12 

10 Conference Minutes, 1863, p. 65. 

11 " Life and Times of Nathan Bangs," by Abel Stevens. 

13 See Book III of this volume. 

ands-street church was the last pastoral charge 
to which the Rev. Alexander M'Caine was ap- 
pointed before entering the Protestant Methodist 

Mr. M'Caine was born in Tipperary County, Ireland, Feb- 
ruary 17, 1773. His father, Alexander M'Caine, a devout 
member of the Church of England, was "for many years em- 
ployed as steward of the estates of the Earl of Farnham." 1 
The son was classically educated 2 in Dublin, witli a view of 
his entering the ministry of the established church; but at 
the age of twenty-four he came to a decision which overthrew 
the hopes of his friends in that direction. Concerning this 
choice the Rev. Samuel E. Norton says: 

In the year 1787 he united with the people called Methodists. It was then 
that he "formed the resolution that by the help of God he would strive to get 
to heaven and called upon God himself to witness the sincerity of his vow." 
It was a most solemn act of an earnest, intelligent mind, * * * an act of very 
great moment, bred up as he had been, to come out in advocacy of a course so en- 

1 Letter to the author by Mrs. Sarah A. Brett, daughter of the Rev. Alex. 

2 Methodist Quarterly Review, 1830, p. 76. 

Record of Ministers. 217 

tirely opposite not only to his own past experience, but to that of his entire 
family. He felt that it was to stand alone. 3 

Coming to this country in 1791, he joined the Methodist 
Episcopal Church/ and soon afterward began to preach. 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1796, (traveling connection,) Broad 
River cir., N. C, with Rufus Wiley ; 1798, Washington, D. C, with S. 
Cowles ; 1799, ordained deacon — Norfolk, Va. ; 1800, Huntingdon, Pa.; 
1 801, ordained elder — (Baltimore District,) Fell's Point, Md.; 1802, (Vir- 
ginia Conf.,) Richmond, Va. ; T803, Greensville, Va., with Wm. Johnson; 
1804, presiding elder, Salisbury Dist., Va. ; 1805, (Baltimore Conf.,) Balti- 
more, Md., with G. Roberts and T. F. Sargent ; 1806-1817, located ; 1817, 
in Philadelphia, Union ch., with John Emory ; 5 1818, (Phila. Conf.,) Tren- 
ton, N. J. ; 1819, 1820, Brooklyn, Sands-street ; 182 1, located ; 1829, 
president of the Va. Conf., Methodist Protestant Church; 18 — , (S. C. Conf.;) 
18 — , (Alabama Conf.) 

His daughter states that his location, in 1806, and again in 
1 82 1, was on account of physical infirmity, " which rendered 
him unfit for the active duties of a minister." She says : 

In 1815 he was living in Cincinnati, where he had a book-store. There 
my mother died, which compelled him to bring his little children back to Bal- 
timore. He taught school in that city in 18 16. 

In Philadelphia, in 181 7, there was not a little friction be- 
tween him and his colleague, John Emory, who afterward pub- 
lished an account of the troubles, in order to prove that Mr. 
M'Caine was captious and discontented. 6 During his pastoral 
term in Brooklyn, the colored members of the Sands-street 
church withdrew-and formed an organization of their own. Con- 
cerning his ministry in Brooklyn his daughter writes to the 
author : 

My recollection of Sands-street church is interwoven with my earliest im- 
pressions. The parsonage fronted on the street back of the church, the grave- 
yard intervening. This was our play-ground while we stayed there. Even 
now I can see the form of my dear father as he entered the gate, while 
his voice echoed back, " I am the resurrection and the life," over the re- 
mains of a child that had died. The church was a white frame edifice, 
modest in its construction compared with houses of worship of the present day. 

Writing of my father's inability to occupy the pulpit at times, calls to my 

3 Funeral Discourse, p. 6. 

4 Sprague's Annals. 

6 See Methodist Quarterly Review, 1830, p. 71. Compare Conference Min- 
utes, which say James Ridgaway was appointed to that station. 
6 See Methodist Quarterly Review, 1830, pp. 71, 83. 

218 Old Sands Street Church. 

mind a conversation I overheard when we lived in Brooklyn, to the effect that 
a stool be made high enough for him to sit while delivering his discourse. I 
am not certain, but I think he preached one or two sermons in this way. He 
went from Brooklyn back to Baltimore ; could not preach, consequently had 
to teach school again. 

Alexander M'Caine was ordained by Bishop Asbury; he was 
for years his confidential friend, and some time his traveling 
companion. Several letters addressed to him by Asbury have 
been preserved, and they show that the bishop loved him as 
" his own son." It is also said that the language addressed to 
him by Dr. Coke " could not have more clearly indicated the 
great respect in which he held the character and attainments 
of the person with whom he corresponded." 7 In the General 
Conference of r8o4 he acted a prominent part; and he was sec- 
retary, but not a member, of the General Conference of 1820. 8 
He appealed in 1820 from the decision of the Philadelphia 
Conference, condemning •him for alleged maladministration, 
and the sentence was reversed by the General Conference. 

After his location, in 1821, he became one of the foremost of 
the agitators who contended for lay representation in the chief 
councils of the church. From his own statement we gather 
that when the General Conference of 1824 decided adversely 
" to the complaints and demands of the laity and local minis- 
ters," he, " being fully convinced of the justice of those de- 
mands," was all the more inclined to investigate the subject and 
keep up the agitation. He writes : 

New thoughts were waked up, and forebodings felt, which he [Mr. M'Caine] 
had never before experienced. He determined, therefore, to examine the 
grounds of such unheard-of claims. He was resolved, if possible, to ascertain 
the means by which traveling preachers had arrived at these pretensions, and 
find the authority which Mr. Wesley had given to justify them in saying he 
" recommended the episcopal mode of church government." 9 

In the course of these investigations he addressed letters of 
inquiry to several of the ministers then living, who had taken 
part in the organization of the church. The following is the 
letter addressed to Freeborn Garrettson, transcribed from the 

7 Mr. Norton's Sermon, p. 11. 

8 It was customary at that tin 
:cretary. See Methodist Quart( 

9 Preface to " History and Mystery of the Episcopacy." 

8 It was customary at that time to choose some person not a delegate as 
secretary. See Methodist Quarterly Rev., 1830, p. 99. * 

Record of Ministers. 219 

original, which is written in an exceedingly neat and beautiful 
hand. This letter was never before published : 

Baltimore, Sept. 25th, 1826. 

Reverend Sir : 

The General Conference of 1824 having in their circular denied the right of 
local ministers and lay members to be represented in that body ; and having, 
moreover, intimated their determination to preserve to the traveling preach- 
ers forever the exclusive " authority to make rules and regulations for the 
church," it is, in my opinion, a matter of great importance, in view of the dis- 
cussion growing out of this subject, to ascertain how the traveling preachers 
became possessed of this " authority." This inquiry carries me back to the 
origin of our church government, an account of which is published in the 
Minutes of Confei-ences for 1785, and in the book of Discipline, chapter 1, 
section 1. In this account I find it asserted that the conference, " follow- 
ing the counsel of Mr. John Wesley, who recommended the episcopal mode 
of church government, thought it best to become an episcopal church." 
This statement I have compared with the document on which it is professedly 
founded, (see Minutes of Conferences for 1785,) and cannot perceive in it any 
"counsel" or " recommendation " to adopt the episcopal mode of church 
government in " preference to any other." And as I have not been able to 
perceive, either in the documents alluded to, or in any part of Mr. Wesley's 
writings, any recommendation to adopt the aforesaid form of government, it 
has occurred to me, that as you are among the oldest preachers now living, 
and as you are supposed to have a knowledge of our church affairs at that 
early day, you may be able to give some information upon this subject. Per- 
mit me, then, to ask you, 

1. If you have seen any document or letter in which Mr. Wesley explicitly 
11 recommended''' to the Methodist societies in these United States the episco- 
pal form of government ? If you have seen such a document, can a copy of 
it be' procured ? 

2. Have you read Mr. Wesley's original manuscript letter, dated Septem- 
ber 10th, 1784, an extract of which is given as the sole authority for the adop- 
tion of our present form of church government ? 

3. Have you ever seen any letter or paper in which Mr. Wesley gave any 
" counsel " or advtee to Dr. Coke, Mr. Asbury, or any other person to ordain 
a third order of ministers in our church, meaning by that phrase, an order of 
bishops distinct from and superior to an order of presbyters ? If so, can you 
tell if that paper can be produced ? 

4. Are you able to inform me in what year Mr. "Wesley's name was left out 
of the Minutes ? At what conference was the vote taken ? By whom was it 
done ? And for what reason ? 

That you may have a full understanding of the importance which I attach 
to this investigation, it may be proper to state to you that I have prepared an 
essay for the press, which, in my opinion, will have some bearing upon the 
episcopal office in our church. And, as my sole object is to obtain informa- 
tion, I would be extremely thankful to you if you could give me such infor- 
mation as would serve to correct the conclusions (if they be erroneous) to 
which I have been conducted by the perusal of those documents to which I 

220 Old Sands Street Church. 

have had access. And, before I close, it may not be amiss to remark, that if 
the liberty I have taken in making these inquiries be considered by you an 
improper one, I hope you will ascribe it to a good motive ; for truly it is my 
wish to obtain all possible information before I give my essay to the public. 

With sentiments of respect I remain yours in the Gospel, 
Revd. Freeborn Garrettson. Alexander M'Caine. 

P. S. — Favor me with an answer as soon as convenient. 

The " essay " to which he refers was published in 1827, 10 in 
pamphlet form, and was entitled " The History and Mystery 
of the Methodist Episcopacy " Mr. Garrettson's reply to the 
last question in the letter was quoted by Mr. M'Caine in the 
Appendix, as favoring the views of the author of the pamphlet, 
as set forth, also, in his letter to Mr. Garrettson, and blame was 
attached to him for withholding from the public the other por- 
tions of Garrettson's reply, which could not be so construed. 11 
This " essay," which all admitted was ably written, stoutly de- 
nied the right of Coke and Asbury to the title of " bishop," and 
reflected somewhat severely upon the motives and action of 
those men. The work occasioned " no small stir " in the 
church, and called forth that same year a vigorous reply by the 
Rev. John Emory, entitled "A Defense of our Fathers." 
M'Caine issued a second pamphlet in 1829, entitled " A De- 
fense of the Truth," etc. In the latter treatise he pronounced 
the name " Methodist Episcopal Church " a " boasted title," 
and the term " bishop " a " pompous appellation ; " and, profess- 
ing a " reverence unfeigned and profound " for Mr. Asbury, 
be nevertheless affirmed that the bishop's " ruling passion " was 
the " love of power," and that " he gave proof that he was will- 
ing to sacrifice every thing for the title of bishop." 12 In 1830 
Emory and Bangs reviewed the whole matter in three numbers 
of the Methodist Quarterly Review. 

The controversy became very bitter, and it was deemed 
proper to expel from the Methodist Episcopal Church a consid- 
erable number of the leaders in the disturbance. Emory men- 
tions M'Caine's " expulsion," and his election to the presidency 
of the Associated Methodist Reformers, in Virginia, previous to 

1830. 13 He was identified with the Methodist Protestant 
Church from its origin. 

10 Not 1829, as stated in Sprague's Annals, and M'Clintock and Strong. 

11 See Methodist Quarterly Review, 1830, pp. 340, 341. 

12 See " Defense of the Truth," pp. 91, 92, 96. 

13 Methodist Quarterly Review, 1830, pp. 80, 82. 

Record of Ministers. 221 

Mr. M'Caine was married to Mrs. Kituel Hall, of Baltimore, 
Md., December 23, 1805. After her death he was again united 
in marriage to Miss Frances Griffith, of Baltimore, September 
1, 1816. 14 

While in the South he wrote and published " Letters on 
Methodist Episcopacy," and " Slavery Defended from Script- 
ure;" also, "Twelve Letters on the Catholic Issue." The 
papers concerning Catholicism were written a short time be- 
fore his death, and published in the Montgomery (Ala.) Ad- 
vertiser. They furnished additional proof of his remarkable 
ability as a writer. 

He left a considerable amount of manuscript, but would not 
consent to the publication of any of it after his death. He 
retired for some time to Aiken, S. C, and his last days were 
spent at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. J. M. Brett, in 
Augusta, Ga., where he closed his mortal life on the first day of 
June, 1856, aged eighty-four years. His daughter writes : 

His death was the calmest moment of existence, full of hope of a blessed 
immortality. 15 

Another eye-witness thus describes the closing scene : 

Many a time had he prayed that God would grant him to retain his mental 
faculties to the close of life. He was heard in an eminent degree. The 
mind and heart of the man lived on when the great frame was dead ; when 
hardly a vibration of life's chord could be felt, the light of his mind shone out 
like the dying glories of a splendid sun. * * * I talked with him day after 
day, and hourly during the day. He always accompanied me in my petitions, 

14 This lady is described as a woman of " brilliant " mind, but from cer- 
tain statements, which the author has seen and heard, it is suspected that the 
union did not prove permanently happy, and was finally dissolved. Mr. 
M'Caine had trouble with one Rev. Will J. Walker, at Lynchburgh, Va., in 
1829, who afterward indirectly accused him in the public prints of not only 
separating himself from his " ancient friends " in the church, but from " very 
dear _ relations." — The Christian Advocate, September 8, 1841. On the au- 
thority of Judge Dikeman this refers to a divorce granted to her by the courts. 
The Rev. Mr. Norton, after ascribing to Alexander M'Caine far greater depth 
and steadfastness of friendly affection than has generally been accorded to 
him, says : " It may have been observed that in these remarks I have been 
speaking of the man as to his general relationships to society. I have not 
alluded to his domestic life. My acquaintance does not extend farther than 
to a knowledge of Mr. M'Caine since his children have grown up and settled 
in life. Into that period of his life 'it does not now concern us to inquire. It 
may be remarked however, that at every period his habits of study and 
consequent seclusion must necessarily have modified the exercise of his moral 
qualities in a very considerable degree. — Memorial Discourse, p. 10. 

16 Letter of Mrs. Brett to the author. 

222 Old Sands Street Church. 

and responded at the close with a hearty amen. At such times his heart 
seemed greatly to be encouraged. The light from above shined upon his 
mind, and he would speak very encouragingly to us all about his expected 
change, and then quietly clasp his hands upon his breast and close his eyes as 
if waiting for that change. * * * It came at last— calmly, peacefully. Not 
the desperate surging of the mad billows, but the gentle laving of the retiring 
tide. All is still, save the waitings of bereaved ones, burdening the night air. 
The race is run ; the fight ended. The soul is at rest. 16 

The funeral services were held in the " St. James Methodist 
Episcopal Church," in Augusta, on the 3d of June, and a ser- 
mon was preached by the Rev. Samuel E. Norton, who chose 
for his text the words of Paul, " I have finished my course, I 
have kept the faith." The preacher said : 

The subject of this discourse was a man of large proportions intellectually 
and physically. His mind had been well trained by severe and critical 
study, and developed itself in a remarkable degree in the varied experiences 
of a long life. His powers of analysis were exceedingly acute, and served him 
eminently as a writer and controversialist. His judgment was most discrim- 
inating. It may be safely affirmed that he took nothing upon trust. He 
must go down to the root of the matter. He was not a retailer of other men's 
sayings. He wished to be certain that what he declared was so ; and he 
never remained satisfied until he could arrive at a conclusion based upon rea- 
son and common sense. * * * With him, language had no beauty, thought 
no charm, earnestness awakened no answering feeling, unless the author 
based his teachings, sustained his doctrines upon the immutable foundation 
of truth. * * * He was a most attentive listener to the sermons and speeches 
which he happened at any time to hear. Habitually closing his eyes and 
folding his hands, he sat patiently listening to the remarks that fell upon his 
ear, rarely looking up, unless something marked for strength, or peculiar for 
originality, or dangerous because erroneous, fell from the lips of the speaker. 

He was a man of most methodical habit. * * * With him there was em- 
phatically " a place for every thing, and every thing in its place." Nothing 
written — no correspondence was destroyed ; his letters and manuscripts, 
amounting to hundreds, dating back to the years of Asbury, Coke, and others, 
have been most carefully numbered and arranged for reference. * * * 

His well-trained mind developed itself in the active duties of ministerial 
life. It was in that sphere he shone pre-eminent. He was emphatically a 
preacher. Christ was his subject. Calvary was ever before him. In his 
judgment a sermon without Christ was nothing worth. There was with him 
no time for trifling. * * * 

In person he was one of the most remarkable men whom the speaker has 
ever beheld. Six feet four inches in height, and bulk in proportion, with no 
surplus ; hair white and flowing ; forehead high, brow prominent, from 
beneath which shot forth the glances of a sleepless mind ; a nose large, prom- 


Rev. S. E. Norton's Discourse, pp. 14, 15. 

Record of Ministers. 223 

inent, and singularly expressive ; all these characteristics combined to make 
him a man singularly venerable and influential, both as to mind and person. 
* * * A man of such large intellectuality and such varied experience in 
human affairs would be quite likely to act out the suggestions of his own 
mind oftener than to follow in a path marked out by others. Few men were 
less disposed to be led than was the subject of this discourse. Mr. M'Caine 
acted from conviction ; hence he was independent in action. In this respect 
I think he has been greatly misunderstood. He has sometimes been regarded 
as adhering to his views with a tenacity amounting to stubbornness. He has 
perhaps, been regarded as somewhat arbitrary. Mr. M'Caine was as largely 
characterized by the exercise of indomitable will, as perhaps any man who 
has lived; but he was certainly not a stubborn nor an arbitrary man. Follow- 
ing out the convictions of his own independent mind, he may have often 
acted in opposition to the views of others ; but it does not follow that it would 
have been wiser or more amiable to have acted differently. * * * 

Mr. M'Caine's habits of study modified his intercourse with others. * * * 
His inflexibility in acting out the convictions of his own mind — his strong 
will, gave to his manners and language a sternness that sometimes seemed 
to amount to harshness. The speaker is entirely aware that his writings, 
particularly, have been thought open to this objection. * ¥ * His intellect- 
uality isolated him. Men of intense thought are not always good com- 
panions. Lions go not in herds. The eagle soars alone. Mr. M'Caine lived 
within as much as any man I ever knew. This was particularly the case for 
some years preceding his decease. Always inclined to study and reflection, 
he grew more disposed to the seclusion of his own heart and home, as his 
contemporaries passed from his companionship. It was at times difficult to 
draw him out of his silence and seclusion. * * * But when he could be 
removed from the influence of unfavorable circumstances — when he was 
among his brethren — when the elements of congeniality were around him — 
certainly no man could be more agreeable in manners, more entertaining in 

We have given more space to the characterization of Mr. 
M'Caine than almost any other of the pastors of Sands-street 
church, partly because of the intrinsic interest and importance 
of the subject, and partly because very little can be learned 
concerning his personal history from the historical and biograph- 
ical literature of our Church. 

The grave of Mr. M'Caine, in the cemetery in Augusta, Ga., 
is inclosed with an iron railing, and marked by a plain, white 
marble head-stone, appropriately inscribed. 

Concerning his two wives only a few facts are known to the 
author. The maiden name of the first wife was Kituel Mezick. 
As already observed, she was a widow when he married her. 

224 Old Sands Street Church. 

Ten years afterward, kay 17, 1815, she died, aged forty-one 
years, and was buried in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Of the second wife, Frances Griffith, we only know this 
additional fact, that she died without children. 

Five children were born to Alexander M'Caine by the first 
marriage." Two of these died in infancy. The eldest son, 
Alexander Mezick, was a physician of fine ability, and died, in 
his thirty-third year, at Aiken, S. C, in the year 1844. The 
second son, Baptist Joshua, resides in Coleta, Clay county, 
Ala. The only daughter, Sarah Anne, was married to James 
M. Brett, of Barnwell District, S. C, in 1833. She is now a 
widow, and resides in Meridian, Miss. 

17 For most of his information concerning the family the author is indebted 
to James Brett, Esq., of Germantown, Tenn., and Miss Mary M. Brett, of 
Meridian, Miss., grandchildren of Mr. M'Caine. 

P (/QS/Zrii^t 




odi is the name of a town on the eastern shore of 
the Passaic River, in the state of New Jersey. 
There the Rev. Peter P Sandford, D. D. was 
born, February 28, 1781. His ancestors were residents of 
the town, and were descended from an officer in the army 
of Great Britain, who came from the island of Barbadoes, 
and made himself a home with a few others in that hitherto 
uninhabited region. The Sandfords were a highly honora- 
ble and reputable people, possessing all the advantages re- 
sulting from easy financial circumstances and a good social 
position. To one branch of this family belonged Joseph 
Sandford, a local preacher, father-in-law of the Rev. Ste- 
phen Martindale. He resided in Belleville, and his generous 
hospitality to the early bishops and other ministers is wide- 
ly known. 

Peter P Sandford's second initial does not stand for a 
name, but the letter "P. " was adopted for his father's immedi- 
ate family, to distinguish his children from other Sandfords 
bearing the same Christian names. 

The memoir adopted by the New York Conference says: 

At a very early age Brother Sandford gave evidence of being under strong 
moral and religious influence. * * * While as yet he was a child of but ten 
years, he was in the habit of gathering the children of his neighborhood into a 
chapel which he had prepared for the purpose, and read to them the liturgy of 
the Episcopal Church, and then preached to them as best he could. 1 

At seventeen years of age he gave his heart to the Savior, 
and obtained a clear and abiding witness of justification by 
faith. The conviction of a divine call to preach the gospel, 
which had been with him from his early childhood, now "re- 
vived with increased power;" some eight or nine years 
elapsed, however, after his conversion, before he began his 
itinerant career. He was spared to preach Jesus to men for 
about fifty years, as shown by the following 

1 Minutes of Conferences, 1857, pp. 320, 321. 

226 Old Sands Street Church. 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1807, (Phila. Conf.,) Trenton cir., N. J., 
with Wm. M'Lenahan ; 1808, ditto, with Wm. Fox ; 1806, ordained deacon, 
Asbury cir., with Thos. Drummond ; 1810, (New York Conf.,) New York 
city, with N. Bangs, E. Smith, J. Robertson, and Jas. M. Smith ; 1811, 
ordained elder — ditto, with N. Bangs, Wm. Phcebus, L. Clark, Wm. Blag- 
borne, and James M. Smith ; 1812, Troy ; 1813, Newburgh cir., with Bela 
Smith ; 1814, Albany ; 1815-1818, presiding elder, Hudson River Dist. ; 1819, 
Newburgh cir., with Josiah Bowen ; 1820-1823, presiding elder, New 
York Dist. ; 1824, New York city, with P. Rice, T. Mason, J. B. Stratton, 
S. Bushnell, and E. Brown ; 1825, ditto, with H. Stead, Wm. Jewett, J. 
Young, D. De Vinne, and H. Chase; 1826, New Rochelle cir., with P. Rice 
and Jno. M. Smith : 1827, ditto, with Josiah Bowen and Jno. M. Smith ; 
1828-1831, presiding elder, Rhinebeck Dist. ; 1832, New York, west cir., with 
S. Landon, J. Bowen, G. Coles, and C. Prindle ; 1823, ditto, with F. Reed, 
J. Bowen, J. C. Green, and C. W. Carpenter ; 1834, White Plains cir., with 
Z. Davenport ; 1835, White Plains and Greensburgh cir., with S. C. Davis ; 
1836-1837, Middletown ; 1838-1839, presiding elder, Poughkeepsie Dist. ; 
T840, Poughkeepsie— 1 elected book agent that year ; 1841-1843, assistant book 
agent with George Lane ; 1844-1847, presiding elder, New York Dist. ; 1848- 
1849, Kingston ; 1850-185 1, Tarrytown ; 1852, White Plains ; 1853, Yonkers ; 
1854-1856, sup'd. 

From the beginning to the end of his ministry he devoted him- 
self unfalteringly to the great work to which God had called him. 

In his memoir he is characterized as " a thorough divine, an 
able preacher, a judicious administrator of discipline, an eminent, 
honest Christian man." One who knew him well describes him 
in very similar terms, as " a man of great ability and the very 
sou* of honor." 2 Another says of his sermons, "They were 
deep— he dug for hid treasure." 3 It was his apostolic preach- 
ing in Troy, N. Y., in 1816, which led Noah Levings,,when but 
a lad, into the gospel light. 4 

His acknowledged preeminence is indicated by the fact that 
he was elected from among many worthy and strong men in 
the New York Conference as a delegate to every General Con- 
ference from 1816 to 1852. His son, Joseph Sandford, says 
that in the great discussion in 1844 he favored more extreme 
measures in the case of Bishop Andrew, and he afterward inti- 
mated that for that reason he should not be a candidate for 
re-election in 1848; but Dr. Bond, of the Christian Advocate 
and Journal, affirmed that that was a good reason why he should 
be a candidate. 

2 J. P in The Methodist. 

8 Rev. Nathaniel Kellogg to the author. 

4 Sketch of Noah Levings in Sprague's Annals. 

Record of Ministers. 227 

His ability as an author was considerable. He wrote an ex- 
cellent book, entitled " Helps to Faith," i2mo, published by- 
Harpers ; also, " Wesley's Missionaries to America," published by 
the Methodist Book Concern. He received the degree of D.D. 
from the University of the City of New York in the year 1848. 
Coming from that source, it was deemed a signal honor. 

He died of ossification of the heart, sitting in his chair, on 
the 14th of January, I857, having almost completed the seventy- 
sixth year of his age. To the last moment he was " calm, tri- 
umphant, and assured of everlasting glory." In the face of 
death he exclaimed, " I have prayed for holy triumph, and I 
have it." His last words were, " Be ye therefore perfect, even as 
your Father which is in heaven is perfect." His grave is 
marked by a head-stone in the cemetery in Tarrytown, N. Y. 

His first wife, Ann (Wylley) Sandford, " one of the excel- 
lent of the earth," died suddenly, after a brief illness, in Belle- 
ville, N. J., May 12, 1832, aged fifty years. She was a native 
of New York city, and was reared under the influence of the 
Episcopal Church. She is buried in Belleville, and a church is 
built over her grave. 

Betsey Ann, his second wife, survived him a little more 
than twelve years. She wrote concerning her early experience : 

When about twelve years of age I was melted into tears under a sermon of 
Rev. Joseph Crawford, and the impressions which it made were not shaken 

Five years later she found rest in Christ ; and she obtained 
the blessing of entire sanctification about 1845, and her life ever 
after was a witness of its reality and power. She was a person 
of strange peculiarities, and "at times her mind seemed to be 
considerably affected." Her life was devoted to the church, 
and she bequeathed a part of her possessions to the missionary 
cause, and a part to the worn-out preachers of the New York 
Conference. On the 12th of May, 1869, at the age of sixty-nine 
years, she fell asleep in Jesus, in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and she 
lies buried beside her husband. 8 

Peter P. Sandford was the father of thirteen children by the 
first marriage, seven by the second, making twenty in all. Four 

C. S. B., in The Christian Advocate. 

228 Old Sands Street Church. 

of the thirteen — Catharine, William, Joseph, and Wesley — sur- 
vived their mother. Only one of them — Joseph — is now living, 
(1884.) He has for many years been connected with the print- 
ing department of the Methodist Book Concern in New York, 
having assisted in the printing of the first copy of The Christian 
Advocate, in 1826. Most of the latter group of children reside 
in the vicinity of Tarry town, N. Y One daughter, Mrs. D. 
Miller, of White Plains, died in 1874. Another, Sarah M., 
wife of B. S. Horton, of Mount Pleasant, N. Y., died on the 1st 
day of June, 1881. 9 

9 The Christian Advocate. 





lexander M'Caine's unexpired term as pastor in 
Brooklyn in the year 1820, was acceptably filled 
by the Rev. Henry Chase, A. M. 
He was born in Hoosic, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., Sept. 10, 
1790 — the third child and eldest son of Daniel and Eliza- 
beth Chase. His parents were reared as members of the so- 
ciety of Friends, and although they ultimately joined the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, they spoke the "plain language" 
through life- 
Henry spent his boyhood on his father's farm, and attend- 
ed the district school; but he longed for better opportunities, 
and with tears entreated his father to send him to an acade- 
my. A large family and limited means seemed to his father 
sufficient reason for denying his request. Yet the boy could 
not be turned aside from his purpose, and by dint of his own 
persevering effort, he obtained a superior classical, scientific 
and theological education. 

At the age of eighteen he became a member of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church. We here transcribe his 

MINISTERIAL RECORD; 1 1809, supply, Pownalcir., Vt., with James 
M. Smith; 1810, Pittsfield cir. , Mass., a supply with Seth Crowell, ; 1811, in 
Ohio; 1812-1817, Reaching, farming and preaching, mostly in his native town; 
1818-1819, teaching in Troy, N. Y., and preaching statedly cei the Sabbath; 
1820, teacher in Wesleyan Seminary, New York, — pastor in Brooklyn from 
Feb'y 21 till conference; 2 1821-1822, teacher, Wesleyan Seminary, and preach- 
er, Mariners' Church, assistant to John Truair; 1823-1824, wholly employed in 
the seamen's cause; 1824, (from November,) a supply in New York city, with 
P. P. Sandford, P. Rice, T. Mason, J. B. Stratton, S. Bushnelland E. Brown; 
1825, (New York Conf.,) an elder — remaining in New York with P. P. Sand- 
ford, H. Stead, Wm. Jewett, J. Youngs and D. DeVinne; 1826-1847, New 
York, Mariners' Church, Roosevelt-st. ; 1848-185 1, (New York East Conf.,) 
ditto; 1852, a local preacher, retaining his place as pastor of Mariners' Church. 

1 His son, Prof. Chase, in Sprague's Annals gives the names of his appoint- 
ments previous to his ministry in Brooklyn. 

2 Sands-street church records. 

2^0 Old Sands Street ChurcJi. 

Such a record of nearly thirty years devoted to the work of 
a minister of Jesus Christ among the sailors, renders him wor- 
thy to take rank with Father Taylor, of Boston, among the no- 
blest and best of philanthropists. In Sprague's Annals is the 
following, written by an intimate friend : 

No sailor belonging to the port, or who had worshiped at the Mariners' 
Church, in Roosevelt-street, would ever pass him in the street without doffing 
his hat, no matter whether drunk or sober. And his success in founding and 
sustaining the Mariners' Temperance Society, for the reformation of intemper- 
ate sailors, may be regarded as among the greatest blessings with which God 
was pleased to crown his labors. 

A number of sailors, having just landed after a long voyage, started Sunday 
morning for their own church ; but several of them were induced by some 
land-shark to drink on the way, and by the time they reached the church 
had become somewhat intoxicated. The spokesman inquired at the door 
whether the captain of the ship was on the quarter-deck — his way of asking 
if their own preacher, Mr. Chase, was in the pulpit ; and, on receiving an af- 
firmative answer, they entered in a body. * * * A stranger being introduced 
as the preacher, one of these sailors said, in an audible tone, that as the 
preacher was not the captain of the ship he would pay him as far as he had 
gone, and, holding up a half dollar to the sexton, he made for the door, leav- 
ing the money for the usual collection at the close of the service. This was 
followed by an apology when the man became sober, and by his becoming a 
pledged member of the temperance society. 4 

This same friend describes him as a Christian, remarkable for 
his humility, rarely speaking of his personal experience; a min- 
ister, who won the affection and respect of Christian people of 
different denominations ; a preacher, whose sermons were well 
prepared but extemporaneously delivered, and whose prayers 
were offered with a pathos which often brought floods of tears 
to the eyes of the hardened sailors as they listened. 

In society he was exceedingly courteous and affable, and 
much sought for in marrying people. It is stated by his son, 
Prof. Daniel H. Chase, that he united in holy matrimony ten 
thousand couples. A younger son, Sidera Chase, remarked to the 
author that when a youth he prepared an index to his father s 
large and well-kept marriage record book, and found that he 
had undertaken no inconsiderable task. The income from so 
many marriages, added to his moderate salary, enabled Mr. 
Chase to give to each of his large family of children an excel- 
lent education. His own scholarly attainments were well known, 

Rev. David Meredith Reese, M.D. 

Record of Ministers. 231 

and the Wesleyan University conferred upon him the degree of 
A.M., in the year 1835. His appearance and bearing are thus 
described by the writer already quoted : 

Mr. Chase was below the medium stature, strongly built, but not corpulent, 
and exhibiting an activity in his bodily movements corresponding to his quick 
perceptions and his ready utterance. His countenance was expressive of 
great benignity, and yet cheerfulness, which, instead of detracting from his 
solemnity, rather adorned it. He was regarded as a fine-looking man. 

In answer to inquiries as to why he located and why the Mar- 
iners' Church dropped out of the list of Methodist appointments, 
it is stated that as the church was not sustained by Methodists 
alone, it seemed desirable to drop the denominational character 
it had assumed as a conference appointment. 

Mr. Chase diegl of paralysis, July 8, 1853, in the sixty-third 
year of his age. During his fatal illness he was unable to speak, 
hence he left no dying testimony. His funeral sermon was 
preached by the . Rev J. B. Wakeley, and his body lay in the 
Mariners' Church after the funeral until the next day, and hosts 
of sailors, during the day and night, passed through the church 
and looked for the last time upon the face of their friend. 
Thence his remains were carried to the Indian Hill cemetery, 
in Middletown, Conn., where a monument has been erected to 
his memory. 

Rachel Pine, of Swansea, Mass., was married to Henry 
Chase, September 10, 1809, the day he was nineteen years of 
age. She died in New York, June 7, 1842, aged fifty-five years. 
From New York, where she was first buried, her remains were 
taken to Middletown, and buried by the side of her husband. 

Children of Henry and Rachel Chase : Arlina, married, de- 
ceased ; Elizabeth, died in mature life, leaving a family ; Daniel 
H., LL.D., first on the list of graduates of Wesleyan University, 
a successful educator ; George W., died in youth ; Sidera, a 
graduate of Wesleyan University, formerly at the head of im- 
portant educational institutions, now on the editorial staff of the 
New York Tribune ; Richard A., died, leaving a family ; Corne- 
lia; JaneE.; Rachel, wife of the Rev N. J. Burton, D.D. ; Susan 
W. t died in infancy. The daughters as well as the sons of 
Henry Chase enjoyed the best educational advantages of their 
time ; two of them attended Rutgers' Female Seminary in New 



he Rev. Laban Clark, D. D. was personally asso- 
ciated with the Sands-street Church as presiding 
elder of the New York District, from 1824 to 1827, 
and of the Long Island District from 1848, to 185 1. 

He was born in Haverhill, N. H., July 9, 1778, and during 
his infancy the family moved to Bradford, Vt. He was 
trained in the belief of his parents, who were Congregation- 
alists, and strictly Calvanistic in their creed. But the lad 
was inclined to think independently, and often question- 
ed certain points of the prevalent theology. The Wesleyan 
•books brought into the neighborhood from England by a 
Mrs. Beckett, he carefully read, and his mind and heart were 
open to the teachings of the Methodist itinerants, when at 
length they made their way into that part of the state. John 
Langdon, of Vershire, who seems to have been the only 
Methodist except the Becketts, in all that region, peti- 
tioned the New York Conference for a preacher, and Nicho- 
las Snethen in 1796/ after him Ralph Williston, and a year 
later, Joseph Crawford and Elijah Chichester were sent to 
that field, then comparatively a remote wilderness country 
Clark heard Williston preach in a barn in Vershire. He 

The day was pleasant, and seats were prepared in and out of the barn. I 
saw where they had prepared for the preacher to stand, and I took my position 
where I might sec and hear to the best advantage. Under the first prayer an 
arrow seemed directed singly to my heart, and I felt that I was the very person 
he was praying for, and that I was the sinner who needed prayers. I there and 
then resolved that I would try to be a better man. I saw people, men and wo- 
men, in the barn and out of it, 6n their knees in time of prayer, and I said to 
myself, This is the old Bible way, * * * andT went home with a fixed deter- 
mination to live a new life. But how and where to begin I knew not. I was 
in perfect darkness. 2 

1 Joshua Hall was appointed to the state of Vermont in 1794, but did not go. 
See Stevens' Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 235. 

2 Quoted in an editorial article in the Christian Advocate. 


Record of Ministers. 233 

In our sketch of Joseph Crawford the overwhelming impres- 
sions produced upon Clark's mind by the public and private 
appeals of that earnest evangelist have been described. It was 
while Crawford held him by the hand, urging him to accept 
Christ by faith, and imploring God to bless him. that the burden 
of sin was lifted from his conscience and he enjoyed " a perfect 
calmness " which he could hardly understand. This was fol- 
lowed a few weeks later by an undoubted witness of his accept- 
ance. On this occasion a class was formed, and he became 
one of the original members. He was then twenty-one years 
of age. 

It has always been the glory of Methodism that it sets all its 
converts to work ; so young Laban Clark was soon called out 
to speak in public, and sometimes to expound and defend the 
doctrines taught by Wesley and Fletcher, with whose strong, 
logical discourses he was happily familiar. He was licensed to 
exhort in the year 1800. John Langdon, Rosebrook Crawford, 
and Martin Ruter were associates of Clark as exhorters or local 
preachers. By their pioneer labors the way was prepared for 
the itinerants, and the famous old Landaff circuit was formed. 
They were not dismayed by threats or violence, and even when 
Rosebrook Crawford was " ducked " in the river, at Lancaster, 
amid the jeers and shouts of the mob, they counted it all joy to 
be counted worthy to suffer in so good a cause. 

Young Ruter, who afterward became a church historian and 
a missionary preacher, went with Clark to a quarterly meeting, 
and heard John Broadhead, the presiding elder, preach " with 
an effect that swept down the congregation so that scores of 
them lay as dead men." That was the starting-point in Ruter's 
itinerant career, and soon afterward Clark was also in the field. 
Sixty-eight years of ministerial life are embraced in the follow- 

ITINERANT RECORD : 1800, supply under the presiding elder, 
place not known ; 1801, (New York Conf.,) Fletcher cir., Vt. and Canada, 
with Jas. Coleman ; 1802, Pittsburgh cir., N. Y., with D. Brumly ; 1803, 
ordained deacon— missionary at St. Johns and Sorreille, Canada, with E. 
Chichester; 1804, Adams, Mass.; 1805, ordained elder — Lebanon cir., N.Y., 
with Geo. Powers; 1806, Whitingham, Vt.; 1807, Buckland, Mass.; 1808, 
Granville cir., with J. Beeman ; 1809-1810, Litchfield cir., Conn., with Reu- 
ben Harris; 1811, New York, with N. Bangs, Jas. M. Smith, and P. 
P. Sandford ; 1812, ditto, with Joseph Crawford, Wm. Phoebus, and Phinehas 
Cook ; 1813-1814, Troy ; 1815, Pittstown ; 1816-1817, Schenectady ; 1818, 

234 Old Sands Street Church. 

New York, with N. Bangs, S. Crowell, S. Howe, and Thos. Thorp; 1819, 
ditto, with A. Hunt, S. Merwin, B. Hibbard, T. Spicer, and N. Morris ; 1820, 
Redding cir., Conn., with P. Cook; 1821, ditto, with A. Hunt ; 1822, Strat- 
ford cir., Conn., with E. Barnett ; 1823, ditto, with J. Nixon ; 1824-1827, 
presiding elder, New York Dist.; 1828-1831, New Haven Dist.; 1832, 
agent, Wesleyan University ; 1833, New York, east cir., with D. Ostrander, 
B. Griffen, P. Chamberlin, and P. R. Brown; 1834, ditto, with S. Cochran, 
J. Youngs, N. Bigelow, and J. Law; 1835, sup'y, without appointment by 
his request ; 1836, sup'y. Haddam, Conn. — agent for Wesleyan University ; 
1837-1840, presiding elder, Hartford Dist.; 1841, Wethersfield, Conn.; 1842, 
sup'y, Middletown, with A. M. Osbon ; 1843, Stepney and Weston ; 1844- 
1847, presiding elder, New Haven Dist.; 1848-1851, presiding elder, 
Long Island Dist.; 1852-1868, sup'd, residing in Middletown, Conn. 

He rode three hundred and forty miles to attend the confer- 
ence in New York city and have his name enrolled among the 
itinerants in 1801. Of his experience on the Fletcher circuit, 
he says : 

After traveling nine months I received three dollars only, and those to re- 
pair my boots. My spending money was exhausted, and I had borrowed five 
dollars of Mr. Coleman. At the quarterly conference the question came up 
how the money was to be divided. I told them that Mr. Draper, who had 
been sent to the east after the conference, had a family, and he must have his 
share. The elder then asked me for my traveling expenses. I told him that 
I had none, for I had just entered upon the regular work. He smiled, and 
told the steward to give me one dollar for shoeing my horse, and for quarter- 
age money paid me seven dollars, so that I had enough to pay what I had 
borrowed, and a little to spare. 3 

He acted a prominent part in the eight different General Con- 
ferences of which he was a member — all from 1808 to 1836, 
except that of 1820. One of the many marked results of his 
ministry was the conversion of Noah Levings, in Troy, N. Y., 
while he was stationed there, in 1813. While pastor in New 
York, in 1819, he first suggested and helped to organize one of 
the noblest institutions known among men, the Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. As presiding 
elder of the New Haven District, in 1829, his quick eye caught 
sight of the opportunity to obtain property for a Methodist insti- 
tution of learning; and, with a faith that seemed inspired, he 
offered to purchase it, or find the men who, with himself, would 
purchase it for that purpose, and then brought the matter be- 
fore the New York Conference. Laban Clark is recognized, 
therefore, as the father of the Wesleyan University, and he was 

8 Quoted by The Christian Advocate. 

Record of Ministers. 235 

president of the board of trustees from its inception, in 1831, to 
his death, in 1868. For this institution he very naturally cher- 
ished a paternal fondness; and, according to his desire, he 
lived and died and was buried almost beneath its shadow. 

In the year 185 1 he preached before the New York Confer- 
ence a semi-centennial discourse, which was published. He 
was made a D.D. by the Wesleyan University in 1853. He 
finished his course, November 28, 1868, in the ninety-first year 
of his age. His life was longer than that of any other Sands- 
street pastor or presiding elder; he outranked, in this respect, 
Aaron Hunt, who also lived to be a little past ninety years of 
age. The cemetery, in the rear of the Wesleyan University, 
contains a brown stone monument, appropriately inscribed, 
which marks the place where the body of Laban Clark awaits 
the resurrection summons. His conference memorial says : 

He was a leader in the old New York Conference, and died the patriarch 
of the New York East Conference. As a preacher, he was sound, instructive, 
and, in his prime, frequently powerful. 4 

Dr. Stevens also describes him "as an able preacher, notwith- 
standing a marked vocal defect." 5 The author heard him ad- 
dress the conference when he was too far advanced in years to 
impress the preachers, except with a veneration for his age. 
He appeared at that time to be a man of medium stature and 
quite erect ; his hoary head was a crown of glory, and his face, 
though deeply wrinkled, wore an expression of cheerfulness and 
peace. The memorial adds : 

He read much, and having a remarkably retentive memory was ready and 
instructive in conversation on almost any topic. There was a richly enter- 
taining spirit in his conversation. He loved to talk, but never talked non- 
sense ; he was fond of good stories, and had a very treasure of them. He 
wrote much, and left piles of manuscript. His piety was calm, steady, and 

He was very tenacious of his political opinions, and it has 
been affirmed that those who knew him well wojuld hardly rec- 
ognize a portraiture of Laban Clark that did not mention the 
fact, that he was a thorough-going Democrat of the old school, 
admiring Andrew Jackson in respect to politics as he did John 
Wesley in respect to theology. 

4 Minutes of Conferences, 1869, p. 97. 
6 Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 70. 

2 2,6 Old Sands Street Church. 

His first wife, Harriet, was the daughter of Anson Fairchild,. 
of Westfield, Mass. She died February 8, 1836, aged fifty-three 

Sarah (Hanks,) his second wife, was a resident of Hartford 
at the time of their marriage, April 17, 1837. 7 She died No- 
vember 21, 1866, aged seventy-nine. In the announcement of 
her death it was said that she was " not a shouting, but a stead- 
fast Methodist." 8 

Marianne, a daughter of Laban Clark, and wife of the Rev. 
Seneca Howland, died July 1, 1853. She was a true Christian 
and brilliant scholar. 

6 Rev. Oliver Sykes' manuscript autobiography. 

7 Notice in Christian Advocate and Journal. 

8 The Christian Advocate. 


he Rev Mitchell B. Bull was born in Waterford, 
Ireland, January 30, 1778.' He experienced relig- 
ion and joined the Methodists at the age of thir- 
teen years. 2 A few months later, in 1793, he came to the city 
of New York. He was licensed to preach in 1802, and short- 
ly afterward entered the itinerant ministry The following 
is the record of his 

APPOINTMENTS: 1803, (Phila, Conf.,) 3 Newburgh cir., N. Y., with 
Thos. Stratton; 1804, (New York Conf. by change of boundaries,) Saratoga cir, 
with John Finnegan ; 1805; ordained deacon, — Montgomery cir., with Joseph 
Willis; 1806, Long Island cir., with James Coleman; 1807, ordained elder, — 
New Rochelle cir., with Billy Hibbard, Henry Redstone, and Ezekiel Canfield; 
1808, Cambridge cir., with Lewis Pease; 1809, ditto, with W. Swayze and S. 
Sornborger; 1810, Saratoga cir, , with John Finnegan; 1811-1852, local: 1824 
supply, Brooklyn, Sands-street, W. Ross' unexpired term; 1853, (N. Y. 
East Conf.,) sup'y, Brooklyn, Sands-street, with H. J. Fox, 1854-1855, 
ditto, with L. S. Weed; 1856-1857, ditto, with John Miley. 

His private memoranda of the Newburgh, Saratoga, Mont- 
gomery, Long Island and New Rochelle circuits have 
been preserved. The author has not found among the pa- 
pers of any others of the early itinerants such evidences of a 
personal knowledge of the members on the circuits. He 
kept complete records of the leaders and their classes, plans 
of appointments, preaching places, baptisms, marriages, texts 
from which he preached in the several appointments, etc. 
They are models of neatness, and besides the light they 
throw upon the character of the preacher and his work, they 
are exceedingly valuable contributions to the history of the 
church in the large number of localities over which his min- 

1 Dr.' Nathan Bangs in the Christian Advocate, 1857. 

2 Conference Minutes, 1858, p. 99. 

3 That Conference then comprised much of New York state, as well as New 
Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. 

238 Old Sands Street Church. 

istry extended. He was accustomed to preach thirty or forty 
sermons in four weeks. His retirement, after an active ministry 
of eight years, was on account of failing health. He was en- 
gaged in the dry goods business in New York city about seven 
years ; thence he removed to a farm in the State of New Jersey, 
and finally took up his permanent residence in Brooklyn. He 
was prospered in his secular enterprises, and his generosity fully 
equaledhis ability. He devoted one fifth of his income regu- 
larly to benevolent objects, and bequeathed $9,000 to religious 

His conference memorial states that he was "active and use- 
ful in the church, a man of sterling integrity, and an able and 
earnest preacher." 4 His record of sermons from 1837 to 1849 
indicates that he often preached in nearly every Methodist 
church in New York, Brooklyn, Jersey City, etc. 

In social intercourse, as Dr. Bangs testified, he was " calm, 
courteous, kind." Judge Dikeman remarked to the aiithor that 
Mr. Bull shared with many others in the expectation of the 
coming of the Lord in 1843. Hearing J. B. Matthias remark 
that he would like to live till Christ should come, Mr. Bull re- 
plied : " I don't expect to die; when Christ comes there will be 
no more dying." 

The Rev. John Rossell, of Brooklyn, assures the author that 
no likeness of Mr. Bull was ever taken. Isaiah Scudder, of 
Huntington, L. I., who knew him well in 1806, describes him as 
tall of stature, with a pitted face and a marked Irish brogue. 
One eye had been put out. He was thrice married, but had no 

He departed this life August 6, 1857, in the eightieth year of 
his age. 5 " During his last severe illness his mind was clear, 
calm, and cheerful," and "his last moments were gilded by the 
bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. A head-stone in the 
Cypress Hills cemetery, lot No. 21, Moliere Path, designates 
the place of his burial. 

A manuscript book, containing fifty-one admirable sketches 
of his sermons, and the valuable records mentioned above, fell 
into the hands of the Rev. Charles Stearns, and were presented 
by him to the New York East Conference Historical Society. 

4 Conference Minutes, 1858, p. 99. 

5 " In memoriam " record — Minutes of the New York East Conference. 

Record of Ministers. 239 

Ann, his first wife, was a daughter of Henry Eames, a Meth- 
odist, (not the preacher,) who came hither from Ireland. She 
was converted in 1796, in the eighteenth year of her age, through 
the labors of Wilson Lee, and she at once gave her name to the 
church. Her marriage to Mr. Bull took place in May, 1799, 
and after fifty-three years the union was dissolved by her death, 
on the 1 8th of October, 1852, in the seventy-fifth year of her 
age. A head-stone marks her grave by the side of her hus- 
band's. Her health was never firm, but she was industrious 
and frugal, and aided her husband while in business to acquire 
a competence. Her modesty of deportment, her plainness and 
neatness of apparel, her kindness, affection, and piety, were re- 
membered by her survivors. A little before her death she 
exclaimed, "Glory to God in the highest ! " 6 

His second wife, Eliza, resided in her youth at Dix Hills, 
L. L, and was converted in 1821, at a camp-meeting at Mos- 
quito Cove, L. I. Her parents were named Goodwin, and the 
gospel was preached in her home. In 1830 she was married 
to Joseph Allen, and after being a widow two years, she accept- 
ed the hand of Mr. Bull, in 1854. It was her daily custom to 
read her Bible on her knees. She died October 12, 1856, aged 
fifty-seven years. 

Mr. Bull was married to his third wife, Ann (Smith,) of 
Brooklyn, February 16, 1857, when he was past seventy-nine 
years of age. His death occurred that same year, and she died 
in peace nine years later, August 1, 1866, aged sixty-four. Her 
father was a soldier of the Revolution. She is buried in the 
same grave with the first wife of Mr. Bull, but her name is not 
on the head-stone. 

1 Dr. Nathan Bangs, in The Christian Advocate. 


fter the Brooklyn Methodists had buried their be- 
loved Ross, the place was supplied by a local el- 
der until the ensuing session of the New York 
Conference, when the Rev. Thomas Burch, one of the most 
popular ministers of the denomination, was transferred from 
the Philadelphia Conference, and appointed to this charge. 

He was born in Tyrone County, Ireland, August 30, 1778. 
His parents were people of culture, and highly respected 
members of the Church of England; but after his conversion, 
his mother, brother, and sister united with him in establish- 
ing a Methodist class in the place where they resided. His 
father never became a Methodist, having died previous to 
the formation of the society. 

The chief agent in his awakening and conversion, while 
yet a young man, was Gideon Ouseley, the celebrated Irish 

In 1800, ' Thomas arrived in the United States with his mo- 
ther, his sister, and his younger brother, Robert, 2 and was 
soon appointed leader of a class in the vicinity of Boehm's 
chapel, in Lancaster County, Pa. He was encouraged by 
the Rev. Henry Boehm to enter the ministry, and accepted 
a license to preach. The following is his 

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1805, (Phila. Conf.,) Milford dr., Del., 
with J. Ayclelott; 1806, St. Martins cir., Md., with J. Wiltbank; 1807, or. 
dained deacon by Bp. Asbury; — Dauphin cir., Pa., with \V. Hoyer and G. 
Harmon; 1808, ditto, with John Miller; 1S09, Lancaster cir. , Pa., with James 
Smith; 1810, Philadelphia, with T. F. Sargent, T. Bishop, T. Budd and T. 
Everard; 1811, Phila., St. George's, with S. G. Roszell; 1812-1814, (Genesee 

1 The memoir in the "Minutes" says 1803, but 1800 is the date named in the 
Rev. Henry Boehm'ssketch in Stevens' Hist. M. E, Church, vol. iii. p. 434. 
He is a trustworthy authority, and became one of the earliest and most intimate 
friends of Mr. Burch after he reached these shores. 

2 This brother became a distinguished preacher in the Methodist Episcopal 

Record of Ministers. 241 

•conf.,) Montreal, Canada — appointed the first year to Quebec, but stopped at 
Montreal ; 1815, (Bait. Conf.,) Baltimore city, with A. Griffith ; 18 16, George- 
town, D. C, with Wm. Ryland ; 1817, Washington, Foundry church ; 1818, 
Georgetown; 1819, Baltimore city, with M. Force and John Bear; 1820, 
ditto, with R. Tydings ; 1821-1822, (Phila. Conf.,) Phildelphia, Union ch. ; 
1823, Phila., St. George's, with Wm. Thacher and D. Parish ; 1824, ditto, 
with James Smith and H. G. King; 1825, (New York Conf.,) Brooklyn; 
1826, ditto, with S. L. Stillman ; 1827, New York, with N. White, R. 
Seney, J. J. Matthias, N. Levings, and J. Field ; 1828, ditto, with C. W. Car- 
penter, Jesse Hunt, J. J. Matthias, N. Levings, and Geo. Coles ; 1829-1830, 
Middletown, Conn. ; 1831, Albany, Garrettson station ; 1832, (Troy Conf.,) 
ditto ; 1833, (New York Conf.,) Brooklyn and New Utrecht, with J. Ken- 
naday and J. Luckey ; 1834, Brooklyn, same colleagues; 1835, sup'y with- 
out app't ; 1 836-1 837, sup'y, Kingsbridge, (Yonkers,) with E. Oldrin and J. 
D. Bangs; 1838, sup'y, ditto, with John Davies and S. C. Perry ; 1839, su P'y> 
ditto, with H. Hatfield and S. C. Perry ; 1840, Yonkers, with D. I. Wright; 
1841, New York, Vestry-street; 1842-1843, Rhinebeck ; 1844-1845, sup'y, 
Yonkers, with J. C. Green ; 1 846-1 847, sup'y, ditto, with C. C. Keys ; 
1848, sup'y, ditto, with S. C. Perry ; 1849, sup'y without app't. 

His career is remarkable for the many conferences to which 

he belonged. He was transferred four times, and fell into the 

Troy Conference when it was formed by the division of the old 

New York Conference. One of the chroniclers of Canada 

Methodism says : 

Thomas Burch holds the distinction of having entered Canada just as the 
war trouble was beginning, and remaining at his post till it had passed away. 3 

Stevens states that Burch made his way to Quebec in 1812, 
when Luckey and Bangs failed to reach their appointments on 
account of the war. 4 If he reached that city, it was not to re- 
main ; for, as Carroll still further says, 

Thomas Burch was designated to Quebec, but Bangs not going to Mon- 
treal, he made that city.his head-quarters. It was no small boon to the Meth- 
odists in Montreal to obtain a man of such sterling piety and mature experi- 
ence, and a preacher of such respectable talents, and to enjoy his labors for 
three full years. 

One preacher only besides himself reached his appointment 
on British soil. That was Robert Hibbard, who was drowned 
shortly after, while attempting to cross the St. Lawrence River. 
Mr. Burch's prolonged stay in Canada seems to have had epis- 
copal sanction, because he was the most suitable man for the 
work there. The Rev. T H. Burch writes : 

3 Carroll — Case and his Contemporaries, vol. i, p. 281. 

4 See Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 275. 

242 Old Sands Street Church. 

Being then an unnaturalized citizen, and a subject of Great Britain, it was 
thought expedient, during the war, for him rather than an American citizen 
to labor there. He did not locate. 5 

He was one of the ninety chosen men of American Method- 
ism who composed the first delegated General Conference in 
1812. Twice subsequently a like honor was conferred upon 
him ; namely, in 1820 and 1828. 

He was married, May 25, 1816, to Miss Mary Smith, of Phil- 
adelphia. Ill-health compelled him to retire partially or wholly 
from active ministerial service for a number of years. After 
the death of his wife, in 1844, he resided in Yonkers, N. Y., till 
near the close of his life. His last sermon, ten days before his 
death, was delivered with great power from Paul's words con- 
cerning " the sufferings of this present time," and " the glory 
that shall be revealed in us." He died suddenly and alone, of 
heart disease, at the house of his son, Thomas H. Burch, in 
Nassau-street, Brooklyn, August 22, 1849, aged nearly seventy- 
one years, in the fifty-fifth year of his ministry. He was buried 
from the Sands-street church, the presiding elder, Laban Clark,, 
officiating, assisted by other ministers. A monument in 
Greenwood marks the place of his rest. 

Samuel Luckey writes admiringly of his friend, Thomas 
Burch, as " an amiable, sweet-tempered man," " of strong and 
heavenly aspirations," and of a "clear and well-disciplined 
mind." He says : 

The most remarkable attribute of his preaching, and, indeed, of his char- 
acter generally, was a charming simplicity. He was eminently fitted to dis- 
charge the duties of pastor, though I do not think he ever took a very active 
part in the general councils of the church. 

He was a man of about medium size, was well-proportioned, and had 
agreeable and cultivated manners. The church showed in what estimate she 
held him, by keeping him always in her most important fields of labor. 6 

Dr. Bangs, in Sprague's Annals, says of Thomas Burch, that 
" he had a sharp, bright eye, that seemed to penetrate whatever 
it fastened upon ; " that although " his mind was rather solid 
than brilliant," he was an animated preacher. " His voice," 
he says, u was musical, and his delivery fluent and graceful ; 
his judgment was much confided in, and the influence of his 
whole character was extensively and powerfully felt in the 

6 Letter to the author. 6 Sprague's Annals. 

Record of Ministers. 245 

Mary, his wife, is said to have been " emphatically what a 
minister's wife should be." Having served the Lord faithfully 
thirty-eight years, she died at the residence of her daughter,. 
Mrs. J. M. Van Cott, in Brooklyn, N. Y., April 24, 1844, in the 
fifty-third year of her age. Death came unexpectedly, but she 
was ready Calling her children around her bed she com- 
mended them to God, and exhorted them to faithfulness ; and, 
" with the word ' glory ' faintly falling from her lips, slept in 
Jesus." 7 Her grave is beside that of her husband. 

Children of Thomas and Mary Burch : Mary Eleanor, of 
Sands-street church, deceased ; 8 Sophia Gough, died in infancy ; 
Thomas H., of the New York East Conference ; 9 Jane Sophia ; ia 
Anne Elisabeth, deceased ; Robert Asbury. 

1 Rev. L. M. Vincent in The Christian Advocate. 

8 See Van Cott, Book III, Record of Members. 

9 See Sketch, in Book III. 

10 Married J. M. Van Cott ; see Book III. 



he Rev. Stephen Lewis Stillman was born in Bur- 
lington, Conn., April 15, 1795. "His parents were 
Seventh Day Baptists; their seven children were 
piously trained, and all professed religion, and finally united 
with different denominations." 1 Stephen began his Chris- 
tian life at the age of twelve, and six years later, in the year 
18:3, united with the Baptist Church. Some months later at 
a camp-meeting he obtained a deeper and richer experience 
in divine things, and from that time he was drawn toward 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which he united in 
Schenectady, N. Y., in 181 7, under the ministry of Laban 
Clark. He was then twenty-two years of age, and had been 
married one year. He was licensed to preach in 1822. 

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1823, (New York Conf.,) Burlington dr., 
Conn., with H. Hatfield; 1824, Winsted cir, , with Eli Barnett; 1S25, Wethers- 
field dr., with J. Z. Nichols; 1826, ordained deacon — Brooklyn, with Thom- 
as Burch; 1827, ditto, with S. Luckey; 1828, ordained elder — Kingston cir., 
with Jos. D. Marshall; 1829, ditto, with E. Andrews and H. Wing, 1830-1831, 
Newburgh, N. Y.; 1832, Hudson and Print Works, with R. Little; 1833, dit- 
to, with H. Humphreys; 1834, Hillsdale cir., with D. B. Ostrander, J. Car- 
ley, and William Lull; 1835, Hillsdale, no colleague named, 1836-1S37, Pough- 
keepsie-, 1838-1839, New York city, Eighty-eighth-street, 1840; New Haven, 
Conn.; 1841-1842, (Troy Conference,) Albany, Garrettson Station; 1S43. Al- 
bany, West Station; 1844-1845, Troy, Second-street, (now Trinity;) 1846-1847, 

1 Mrs. Lucretia M. Stillman — letter to the author. 

Record of Ministers. 245 

Ballston Spa. ; 1848-1849, Greenwich; 1850-1851, Waterford ; 1852-1853, 
Shelburne, Vt. ;' 2 1854, without appointment on account of failing health ; 
1855, chaplain of the Albany Bethel for Sailors and Boatmen ; 1856-1857, 
Bethlehem ; 1858-1859, Castleton, Vt. ; 1860-1861, Salem, N. Y. ; 1862, 
Clarksville and New Salem ; 1863, Albany, Free Central ; 1864, Hagemans 
Mills ; 1865, sup'y, without appointment ; 1866-1868, sup'y, Albany, Wash- 
ington av., (now Trinity.) 

It will be observed that he was first appointed to a charge 
including the neighborhood in which he was reared — an excel- 
lent comment upon the character and reputation of the young 
man. Burlington circuit then embraced twenty-eight different 
appointments, scattered over fifteen different townships. It is 
stated in his memoir that 

In each of these places he and his colleague were expected to preach once 
each in every four weeks, making an average of one sermon a day, and three 
on Sundays. 3 

His labors were not diminished on his subsequent appoint- 
ments, the first of which embraced eighteen, and the second 
twenty-three, preaching places. Some account of his work in 
Brooklyn, in organizing the young men into a missionary so- 
ciety, has already been given on page 24 of this volume. The 
Christian Advocate, in I 8^j, reported a great revival under his 
labors in Poughkeepsie. His most remarkable success was in 
Garrettson station, Albany, where, during one series of meet- 
ings, about five hundred persons were added to the church. 
One of his parishioners writes : 

He entered upon his ministry with zeal and much religious fervor, and, as 
the result of his labors, old Garrettson station had one of the most sweeping 
revivals ever known in Albany in any one church. He became so worn down 
by midwinter that the official board secured the services of the Rev. Thomas 
Armitage to assist in continuing the meetings until spring. Many yet live 
who remember those stirring times, and the stately form and magnetic influ- 
ence of the pastor, as he stood in that old tabernacle, with a great sea of faces 
before him, an audience of from 1,500 to 1,800 souls ; and many have gone 
up with their beloved pastor to swell the throng of those who sing the song 
of Moses and the Lamb. 4 

Mr. Stillman departed this life on the 2d of April, 1869, al- 
most seventy-four years of age. Amid the closing scenes of his 
life he said to a committee of ministers in Albany : " Tell my 

2 Not Connecticut, as stated in his memoir in Conference Minutes. 

3 Minutes of Conferences, 1869, p. 116. 

4 William Dalton. of old Garrettson station, Albany. 

246 Old Sands Street Church. 

brethren that I die in the full faith of the Gospel I have 
preached." Dr. Jesse T. Peck and other ministers addressed 
a large audience at his funeral in the Hudson-street church, 
Albany. His friends laid him to rest in the beautiful cemetery 
of Schaghticoke, Rensselaer county, N. Y., in a lot belonging 
to his father-in-law, Mr. Daniel Miller. A plain but neat 
Gothic stone marks his grave. 

His brethren of the Troy Conference speak of him in his 
memoir as " a diligent and varied reader," perhaps all the more 
studious because of his consciousness " of the lack of early 
mental discipline, and of an educational foundation for schol- 
arly attainment." They ascribe to him " a quickness of per- 
ception, a nicety of taste, an adaptation to the popular mind, a 
gentlemanly bearing, rare conversational powers, and a noble 
bodily presence." He was tall and erect at the age of seventy- 
three, "and his finely molded head, covered with a silvered 
crown of glory, made him conspicuous in any assembly." 

Miss Sarah Sperry was born in Connecticut, February 27, 
1 791, and was married to S. L. Stillman, August 12, 1816. One 
who was personally acquainted with her writes : 

I remember her as a cultured Christian lady, dignified, courteous, kind, 
gentle, and universally beloved ; a model wife and mother, domestic in her 
habits, and fond of her home. When Mr. Stillman was stationed in Troy 
she went on a visit to Westerly, R. I., and died while there, [July 10, i846,J 
and was buried in the beautiful cemetery about half-way between Westerly 
and Watch Hill. A modest monument marks her grave. 5 

Mr. Stillman was married in 1848 to Mrs. Lucretia Mil- 
ler Eggleston, who now resides in Valley Falls, N. Y 

Children of Stephen L. and Sarah Stillman : Harlow Frank- 
lin, of Chicago, 111. ; William, who died of consumption, in 
Albany, N. Y., the day he was twenty-two years of age, and 
was buried on the day he was to have graduated from a med- 
ical college in the city of New York ; George Henry, of Ports- 
mouth, Ohio ; Stephen Lewis, Jr., of Greenwich, N. Y., by 
profession a dentist. William Olin, the only offspring by the 
second marriage, was graduated from the Albany Medical Col- 
lege in 187 1, was house physician five years at Dr. Strong's, in 
Saratoga Springs, and has since traveled and studied in Europe. 

5 Mrs. Lucretia M. Stillman's letter. 

xf&sr*^ ^oceJ&e* 




he name of the Rev. Samuel Luckey, D. D. is as 
ointment poured forth. His memory is fondly 
cherished by the old Brooklyn Methodists, and 
hosts of Wesley's followers throughout this country and 
Canada unite in the same admiring estimate of his character 
and his life. 

He was born in Rensselaerville, N. Y., April 4, 1791. 
From certain statements of his we gather that he experienced 
a joyful hope in Christ before he was fifteen years of age. 1 
With "a fair education, and a sound Christian experience," 
he began before he was twenty to travel a circuit under the 
direction of the presiding elder. Fifty-nine years of faith- 
ful service are included in the following 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1810, supply, Montgomery cir. , N. Y., in 
place of Datus Ensign or C. H. Cridley; 2 1811, (New York Conf.,) Ottowa 
cir., Lower Canada; 1812, (Genesee Conf.,) assigned to St. Francis River, 
Canada, with J. F. Chamberlin, but unable to reach his appointment; 1813, 
(New York CoAf.,) Dutchess cir., with \V. Anson and Coles Carpenter; 1814, 
ordained deacon, — Saratoga cir., with Andrew M'Caine; 1815, Montgomery 
cir., with G. Pierce; 1816, ordained elder, — Pittstown, N. Y.; 1817, Troy; 
1818, Troy and Lansingburgh, with E. Bancroft; 1S19, Rhinebeck cir., with 
S.Howe; 1820-1821, Schenectady; 1822-1823, New Haven, Conn.; 1824- 
1826, presiding elder New Haven Dist. ; 1827, Brooklyn, with S. L. Stillman; 
1828, ditto, with S. Landon; 1829, New York, with Coles Carpenter, Jesse 
Hunt, G. Coles and S. D. Ferguson; 1830, ditto, with S. Merwin, L. Pease, 
S. Martindale, B. Goodsell and S. D. Ferguson; 1831, Albany, South Station; 
1 832-1 835, (Genesee Conf.,) Principal of Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Li- 
ma : — one year he had leave of absence from the seminary, and took the presid- 
ing eldership of the Rochester District on account of his health; 1836-1839, 
(New York Conf.,) Editor-in-chief of the Christian Advocate, Quarterly Review 

* l See his article entitled "Methodism Sixty-two Years Ago," in the Christian 
Advocate, January 17, 1867. 

2 Stevens, — Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 259. Ensign was reported at 
the ensuing conference as having located. 

248 Old Sands Street Church. 

and other publications of the Book Concern ; 1840, presiding elder, New 
York Dist. ; 1841, New York, Duane-street ; 1842, (Genesee Conf.,) Roches- 
ter, St. John's ; 1843, Rochester, First ch. ; 1844, presiding elder, Niagara 
Dist. ; 1845, Lockport, North ch. ; 1846-1847, presiding elder, East Roches- 
ter Dist. ; 1848-1849, (East Genesee Conf.,) presiding elder, Rochester Dist.; 
1850, Penfield ; 1851, Rochester, Second ch. ; 1852, sup'y, Rochester, Third 
ch., with S. L. Congdon ; 1853, sup'y, Rochester, North-st., with A. Wright ; 
1854, tract agent ; 1855, (Genesee Conf.,) Castile ; 1856, sup'd ; 1857, Gaines- 
ville, with J. M. Simpkins ; 1858, Scottsville ; 1859, (East Genesee Conf.,) 
Rochester, Cornhill ch. ; i860, Rochester, North-st. ; 1861-1868, chaplain to 
the Monroe county penitentiary, the almshouse in Rochester, and the insane 
asylum ; 1869, sup'd. 

Like Nathan Bangs, Elijah Woolsey, Thomas Burch, William 
Ross, Laban Clark, and many others who came to be princes 
in Israel, he received his early training as an itinerant in a 
foreign land. Not every young man would have accepted with- 
out flinching an appointment to Ottawa, Lower Canada ; but 

Bishop Asbury had an interview with young Luckey after conference, and, 
finding him firm and dauntless, with only about twelve shillings in his pocket, 
opened his purse, which in those days was the missionary treasury of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and increased his frugal supply. A tedious- 
journey on horseback of four hundred miles lay before him, and a poor and 
scattered flock awaited his arrival. 3 

He took with him his text-books in Latin and Greek and a 
few theological works, and diligently applied himself, both to 
immediate soul-saving effort and a thorough preparation for the 
work of future years. The following paragraphs afford us a 
very pleasing glimpse of him in his far-off post of l£bor : 

Samuel Luckey, a young man, was sent to range the picturesque banks of 
the rapid Ottawa, among their simple, loving inhabitants. His youth, his 
comeliness, his pleasing manners, his piety and devotion, joined to his pre- 
cocious ability as a preacher, took amazingly with the people. They spoke 
of him twenty-one years afterward, when the writer traveled the same inter- 
esting ground, with rapture. This young man was afterward known as the 
Rev. Dr. Samuel Luckey. 4 

On one of his long journeys Mr. Luckey suffered from hun- 
ger and cold. He stopped at a house in a French neighbor- 
hood and asked for food, and, as Mr. Carroll relates, 

Not being sufficiently acquainted with the French language to indicate 
v/hat he wanted, he pointed to his mouth. The Frenchman, observing the 

3 Minutes of Conferences, 1870, p. 280. 

4 " Case and his Contemporaries," by Rev. John Carroll, vol. i, p. 249. 

Record of Ministers. 249 

gesture toward his face and the length of Mr. Luckey's beard, arising from 
want of facilities to perform his toilet for some days, inferred that he wished to 
shave himself, and, with true native alacrity and politeness, ran and brought him 
his razor. This was asking for bread, and receiving something worse than a 
stone. Whether he obtained the bread in the issue we did not distinctly 

The war prevented his going to his charge in 1812, and he 
seems to have spent most of that year in eastern New York 
and New England. While in Troy, in 1817, he witnessed, per- 
haps, the greatest revival which attended his ministry. Nearly- 
one hundred and fifty members were added to the church. He 
recognized Noah Levings among the youthful helpers in the 
meetings, and gave him license to exhort. 6 About that time he 
published his book on " The Trinity," a work which increased 
his fame. Union College, by whose officers he was well known r 
honored him with the degree of A.M., and subsequently with 
the degree of D.D. These honors were unsolicited. 

We have already alluded to his successful ministry in Brook- 
lyn. An excellent sermon on " The Sure Word of Prophecy," 
printed and published while he was stationed there, may be re- 
garded as a specimen of his discourses. 8 It is stated by W H. 
Dikeman, of New York, that Samuel Luckey was the first cler- 
gyman outside of " the standing order " to preach the sermon 
at the opening of the assembly in the Connecticut legislature. 
In 1847 Dr. Luckey was elected by the legislature of New York 
to the important and honorable position of regent of the State 
University, and it is a noteworthy fact that he was the first 
clergyman holding office in the State under the amended con- 
stitution rendering clergymen eligible to civil offices. To the 
close of his life he remained one of the most active members of 
the board. He was' a delegate to the General Conferences of 
1828, 1836, and 1840. 

As pastor, presiding elder, editor, principal of a seminary, 
regent of a university, chaplain to a prison, almshouse, insane 
asylum, all at once, " he performed," as Stevens has truly said, 
" an amount of public labor hardly surpassed by any of his con- 
temporaries in the ministry." He wrote, in later life, an excel- 
lent treatise on " The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper," also 
" Ethic Hymns and Scripture Lessons for Children." When 

See sketch of Noah Levings in Spra~ue's Annals. 
See Methodist Magazine, 1828, p. 41. 


Old Sands Street Church. 

almost at the close of his long and active life, he preached three 
sermons every Sabbath, besides devoting an hour in each of 
the institutions in which he preached in visiting and conversing 
with the inmates. When seventy-five years of age he said to 
the editor of The Christian Advocate that his work during the 
last twenty years had been performed with as much ease as at 
any preceding period. 

But the end came at last, and " in peace, assurance, and vic- 
tory, he passed away," October 11, 1869, aged seventy-eight 
years. The Rev. Geo. G. Lyon, pastor of the First Methodist 
Episcopal church in Rochester, visited him in his sickness, and 
wrote to The Christian Advocate : 

His mind is clear and vigorous. He speaks calmly and intelligently of his 
approaching dissolution, and confidently and joyfully of his prospects beyond 
the grave. He has no will with respect to himself, but he inquires earnestly 
about the welfare of Zion. He is wrapped in his warrior's mantle, and is 
surveying the field of conquest and the embattled host before he retires to 

The resolutions adopted by the Rochester District Ministe- 
rial Association, while in session at Lima, Oct. 13, 1869, indicate 
that the preachers proceeded in a body to Rochester to attend 
his funeral. A grave marked by a head-stone in the Mount 
Hope cemetery, in Rochester, N. Y., contains the mortal remains 
of Dr. Luckey. 

He is described as handsome in person, commanding, earnest, 
eloquent in delivery, respected in scholastic attainments, and 
firm in his religious convictions. Although he had been called 
no less than eight times to change his conference relations, 
thirty years of his ministry had been spent in the two Genesee 
conferences. When his brethren of the East Genesee Confer- 
ence assembled after his death, they said in their report con- 
cerning him : 

He was a thorough Methodist, and with the genius and historic develop- 
ment of his church he was as familiar as with the alphabet. He long stood 
among the magnates of his people, and his history is woven into the history 
of the church. 7 

His first wife, Eliza, was a daughter of Richard Jacobs, 8 the 
heroic Methodist preacher who sacrificed his life in his perilous 

7 Minutes of Conferences, 1870, p. 280. 

8 Park's — Troy Conf. Miscellany, p. 35. 

Record of Minisiers. 251 

mission as the advance-guard of the Methodist army in the 
northern counties of New York State in 1796. It was no small 
honor to be the child of such a father. Stevens says : 

He belonged to a wealthy Congregational family of Berkshire county, 
Mass., which had cast him out and disinherited him at his conversion to Meth- 
odism. "With his young wife he was thrown penniless upon the world." 
He joined Garrettson's famous young band of northern pioneers, and, in 1796, 
left his family at Clifton Park to make an expedition as far as Essex and Clif- 
ton counties, proclaiming the gospel among the scattered settlers in that re- 
mote region. Many were awakened and converted at Elizabethtown, and, 
promising them a pastor, he pushed along the western shore of Lake Cham- 
plain, preaching as he went, till, joined by a lay companion, he proposed to 
make his way back to his family through the Schroon woods to the head of 
Lake George. For about seven days the travelers were engulfed in the for- 
ests, suffering fearful privations and struggling against almost insurmountable 
obstructions. " Their provisions failed ; they were exhausted with fatigue 
and hunger ; and at last, in trying to ford the Schroon, Jacobs sunk beneath 
the water and was drowned. " All his family," adds the narrator of the sad 
event, "were converted," three of his sons became ministers, and two of his 
daughters married Methodist preachers. 9 

The widow of Richard Jacobs afterward married Judge Moe. 10 
Eliza Luckey died in 1832, and was buried in Troy, N. Y. 11 

Samuel Luckey's second wife, Lida M., was converted when 
very young. She shared her husband's lot for nearly thirty 
years, and died, of cancer, July 25, 1863, in the fifty-eighth year 
of her age. She was considered " faultless," a woman of pleas- 
ing person and address, attracting many friends. She met 
death in holy triumph. 12 She is buried beside her husband in 
Mount Hope cemetery. 

His third wife, Maria, after his death married a Mr. Utley. 
She died in Rochester in 1882. 

Two children died in infancy. Freeborn Garrettson, a lawyer, 
resides in New York ; Caroline Amelia, married Stephen B. 
Reynolds, of Danbury, Conn. ; Samuel Merwin, died in 1883, in 
Rochester, N. Y These are children by the first marriage. 
John died in Rochester ; Joseph L., the only living child by the 
second wife, is a lawyer and editor in Rochester. 


Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iii, p. 165. 

10 Statement of F. G. Luckey. 

11 J. L. Luckey— Letter to the author. 
8 J. R. in The Christian Advocate. 



he Rev. Seymour Landon is the first on our chron- 
ological list of the Methodist preachers of Brook- 
lyn who was personally known to the writer. To 
have been favored with the counsel and blessing of so noble 
a patriarch as Father Landon, is a privilege to be highly es- 

Seymour Landon was born in Grand Isle, Lake Cham- 
plain, Vt, May 3, 1798. His father, Asahel Landon, first a- 
mong the Methodist converts in that region, is mentioned in 
Stevens "Memorials" as an honored local preacher. Dur- 
ing Seymour's boyhood his father's house was a home for 
the pioneer Methodist itinerants, and "his barn and orchard 
their places of worship."' 

On the 12th of September, 18 14, the day after the naval 
victory of M'Donough over Downie on Lake Champlain, 
young Landon, who had witnessed the battle, stood on the 
gory deck of the flag-ship, Confiance, and said to himse]f as 
he looked upon the remains of Downie and his officers laid 
out for burial: "What is worldly honor to them now? What 
avails it to them if their souls are lost?" A few months 
thereafter, when he was seventeen years of age, his pastor, 
William Ross, preached a sermon which powerfully aroused 
his conscience, and led him to repentence and faith in Jesus 
Christ. Mr. Ross received him as a probationer in the 
church September 12, 1815, exactly one year after the scenes 
he witnessed on the deck of the Confiance had awakened 
those solemn thoughts in his mind. The same day and the 
next he accompanied the preaeher to his appointments, and 
on the third day went with him in a sloop to a camp-meet 
ing. On the way his pastor told him he believed God had 

1 << 

Fifty years in the Ministry," by the Rev. Seymour Landon. p. 10. 


Record of Ministers. 253 

called him to preach. He soon began a course of preparation 
for the ministry, studying at an academy in St. Albans, Vt., and 
afterward with a Congregational minister, who strove to en- 
lighten his pupil in Calvinistic doctrines, and succeeded in 
"confounding " the youthful Methodist. But it happened that 
young Landon had the company of J B. Stratton, a sound and 
intellectual Methodist preacher, for two nights in a week dur- 
ing that time; and so, hearing both sides, he not only did not 
become a convert to Calvinism, but prepared himself to be a 
more successful defender of Methodist theology. 

He was licensed to exhort, " without his knowledge or con- 
sent," and was soon afterward authorized to preach. Dissuaded 
from his cherished purpose of going to college, he accepted a 
recommendation to the New York Conference, which he joined % 
in 1818, when twenty years of age. 

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1818, (New York Conf.,) Charlotte dr., 
Vt., with N. White ; 1819, Ticonderoga, N. Y. ; 1820, ordained deacon, — St. 
Albans, Vt., with N. White; 1821, Ticonderoga, N. Y., again; 1822, ordained 
elder, — Chazy cir., with E. Crane ; 1823, ditto, with Wm. Todd ; 1824. White- 
hall cir., including Poultney, Vt., where he resided ; 1825, Poultney, a station ; 2 
1826-1827, Sandy Hill and Glenn s Falls cir., N. Y.; 1828, Brooklyn, with 
S. Luckey ; 1829-1830, Lansingburgh and Waterford cir. ; 1831, New York, 
with S. Merwin, L. Pease, S. Martindale, B. Goodsell, John Clark, B. Silleck, 
and C. Prindle ; 1832, New York, West cir., with P. P. Sandford, J. Bowen, 
G. Coles, and C. Prindle ; 1833-1834, Rhinebeck ; 1835-1836, Newburgh ; 
1837, Sugar Loaf cir., with W Miller; 1838, ditto, with T. Newman; 
1839-1840, Hudson ; 1841-1842, Brooklyn, 2nd church, (York-street,) and 
'New Utrecht; 1843-1844, Hempstead; 1845-1846, Sag Harbor; 1847, 
Winsted, Conn. ; 1848-1850, (New York East Conf.,) presiding elder, Hart- 
ford Dist. ; 1851-1854, presiding elder, Long Island Dist. ; 1855-1856, 
Brooklyn, Gothic church ; 1857-1858, Greenpoint ; 1859-1860, Southport, 
Conn. ; 1861-1862, Watertown, Conn. ; 1&63-1864, Mt. Vernon, N. Y ; 
1865-1866, Astoria ; 1867-1868, Amityville and Newbridge ; 1869-1871, 
Springfield ; 1872, Orient ; 1873-1880, sup'd. 

Here is a remarkable record of fifty-five years of effective serv- 
ice without a break, followed by eight years of quiet, peaceful 
waiting for his final remove to the " saints' everlasting rest." 

He was married while on his second circuit, and the happy 
union lasted about fifty-eight years. In reference to his ap- 
pointment to Brooklyn, in 1828, he writes : 

I begged to be excused from being sent there, thinking it perfectly consist- 
ent with my vow to go wherever sent by the bishop, to decline an appoint- 
ment which almost every other preacher coveted. 

a Landon's account of the charge, which varies somewhat from the Minutes. 

254 Old Sands Street Church. 

At the expiration of one year he was removed at his own 
request. Until the session of his conference, in 1879, tne 
sixty-third from the time of his joining, he had never failed 
to be present. He spent about one year and three months of 
his life in attending the sessions of the conference to which he 


He was a man of robust constitution, which did not entirely 
give way until a few months before his death, when he had 
been reduced almost to a skeleton by a series of heavy chills. 
He died at the residence of his adopted daughter, in Jamaica, 
L. I., July 29, 1880, in the eighty-third year of his age. Hav- 
ing outlived all the companions of his early ministry, he came 
down to his grave " as a shock of corn cometh in his season." 
As he saw death approaching, he exclaimed, " O what a salva- 
tion is provided for guilty men ! So rich, so full, so free ! I 
shall be saved ! It is all clear now ! " So did " the clouds 
that often troubled his faith in former years pass away " as he 
approached the entrance to glory, and heavenly light streamed 
through the " gates ajar." 

The funeral took place in the Methodist Episcopal church 
in Jamaica, and the remains were laid away in the family plot 
in Winsted, Conn. 

The character and career of Seymour Landon have been ad- 
mirably portrayed in a memoir written by the Rev. George 
Lansing Taylor, D.D., and adopted by the New York East 
Conference. The following paragraphs are an extract from 
Mr. Taylor's sketch : 

His early ministry was largely blessed with revivals, as was also his maturer 
work in some signal instances. As a preacher, while he was not remarkable 
as a profound or logical sermonizer, he was, nevertheless, a well-prepared, 
earnest, and often able, herald of the divine message. In his denunciation of 
popular sins and follies, he had something of the old Hebrew severity, and 
yet with it enough of the genial, and sometimes humorous, to retain the affec- 
tion of his hearers. 

His life-long regret at his privation of a college education, and the zeal and 
self-denial with which he and his companion sent all their children through 
college, are memorable points in his character ; yet, amid the collisions of 
the controversial times in which his ministry began, he never was put to the 
worse for want of enough of Greek, Latin, or English for the occasion. In 
the temperance reform he was prompt to sympathize with Dr. Fisk, when the 
latter threw his powerful influence into the rising total-abstinence movement, 
and he ever remained an earnest champion of the cause. 

But the firm, though unostentatious, stand he took in the great antislavery 

Record of Ministers. 255 

contest, more than any other occasion of his public life, showed the moral 
fiber of the man. It is hard for us of this generation to comprehend the des- 
potism of the pro-slavery sentiment that, to a great degree, ruled all the 
churches, and the whole fabric of society, North as well as South, in those 
days. The great struggle which divided the church in 1S44 began eight years 
earlier. The General Conference of 1836, in its Pastoral Address, (see Bangs' 
Ili^lury of the Methodist Episcopal Church, vol. iv, pp. 259, 260,) said to the 
church : " We * * * exhort you to abstain from all abolition movements 
and associations, and to refra n from patronizing any of their publications. 
* * * We have come to the solemn conviction that the only safe, script- 
ural, and prudent way for us, both as ministers and people, to take, is wholly to 
refrain from this agitating subject." An advice so contrary to all the primary 
rights of men, whether clergy or laity, probably no enlightened Christian body 
could be found on earth to give to-day. It is a phenomenon in religious his- 
tory and psychology. But the bishops and annual conferences at once set 
about applying it as a law, giving it a weight which never properly belonged 
to anv merely advisory deliverance, and enforcing it in an inquisitorial spirit. 
Following this cue, the i\cw York Conference that year passed a resolution 
forbidding its members acting in any manner as agents for Zion's Watch- 
man, the noted antislavery paper, then conducted by the Rev. Leroy 
Sunderland, of the New England Conference. Such action suggests to us of 
to-day that the modern term " bull-dozing " was invented forty years too hue. 
It required uncommon manhood for Mr. Landon lo stand up in his place and 
demand of the conference if " the resolution was intended to forbid my tak- 
ing the paper myself, and paying for it?" The interrogation was resented 
as an insult to the conference, and at the following session, when the appoint- 
ments were read off, Mr. Landon, whose previous charges had been wealthy 
Rhinebeck and prosperous Nevvburgh, found himself retired to the sylvan 
wilds of Sugar Loaf Mountain, where, like John the Baptist, he might riot on 
locusts and wild honey, and meditate on the folly of having opinions of 
his own. 

At the session of 1838 James Floy, then in the bright promise of his youth, 
so nobly fulfilled in his manhood, was arraigned with several others at the 
bar of the conference for attending a Methodist abolition convention at 
Utica, N. Y., during the previous conference year. Although Floy and his 
friends took no part in the convention, save as spectators, yet for simply be- 
ing present, and in the face of his own overwhelming defense for three hours 
before the conference, he was suspended from his functions as a deacon, by a 
vote of 124 to 17. Dr. Curry, in his memoir of Floy, (Quarterly Review, 
1864. p. 117,) gives the now honored names of the courageous seventeen 
worthies ; namely, " Daniel De Vinne, Charles K. True, Seymour Landon, 
Paul R. Brown, Harvey Husted, Cyrus Foss, David Plumb, C. W. Turner, 
Edwin E. Griswold, and probably John M. Pease, Humphrey Humphreys, 
Thos. Bainbridge, and Harvey Brown." 3 It must have brought a touch of 
honest pride to those brave men when, in after years, the New York East 
Conference sent four of them, Griswold, Floy, Landon, and Husted, to stand 

3 See sketch of Wm. Thacher in this book, p. 161, where he is quoted as 
expressing the sentiments of the majority on this subject. 

256 Old Sands Street Church. 

up once more together as her delegates to the Buffalo General Conference, in 
i860, to strengthen our testimony against slavery by passing the Kingsley 

Mr. Landon, with every abolitionist of those and far later days, and as the 
pioneers of all reforms must always do in all organizations, frequently suffered 
in his appointments on account of his opinions. But he lived to reap in this 
life the honors and rewards of fidelity to righteousness ; to witness the tri- 
umphant overthrow and " extirpation of the great evil of slavery ; " to see his 
imperiled country free, united, and at peace ; and when he retired from the 
front of the battle, in 1873, his conference presented him, as an expression of 
affection, a purse of $1,681, one of the largest testimonials of the kind in the 
history of the church. 

Doubtless the two most marked traits of Mr. Landon's character were his 
excessive, almost morbid diffidence, or self-depreciation, and his equally 
marked conscientiousness. His diffidence was so great on all personal points, 
as to subject him to occasional fits of despondency, and to unquestionably 
diminish his usefulness and power. It is, however, only in the light of this 
extreme native modesty that the sternness of his fidelity to great principles 
can be duly appreciated. These traits and his amiability and other charming 
personal qualities made him one of the truest and most lovable of personal 
friends. 4 Yet his sturdy honesty and independence were no less marked than 
his geniality. It is a significant token of his worth as a man, that eleven of 
the most valuable of the distinguished Olin's printed private letters, are ad- 
dressed to Seymour Landon. 

Mr. Landon's long career — the longest effective ministry in his conference — 
was crowned with serene brightness in his closing years. His always ma- 
jestic and handsome face and figure (he was six feet tall and superbly propor- 
tioned) caught a new grace from that " hoary head," which "is a crown of 
glory if it be found in the way of righteousness." His presence was a Wel- 
come ornament in every circle of society, and he passed away amid the rever- 
ent affection of hosts of friends. 5 

Phcebe, his wife, daughter of Levi and Charity (Miller) 
Thompson, was born in Granville, N. Y., Oct. 4, 1796, but, 
while an infant, removed with her parents to Ticonderoga. 
There she was received by the young itinerant, Seymour Lan- 
don, first into the church as a convert, and then into his home 
as a bride. It has been said that she made that home " a Joy 
to its members, and a model to the parish." Her genial hospi- 
tality, her pure, sweet sympathies, her abounding good works, 
her timid and pathetic utterances in the social meetings, her 

4 In the New York Preachers' Meeting Dr. Curry sard : " 1 loved Seymour 
Landon ;" adding, in his own peculiar way, '* and the men I can say that of 
are mighty few." 

5 Minutes of the New York East Conference, 1881* pp. 57-59. 

Record of Ministers. 257 

faithful training of her children, all conspire to make her mem- 
ory precious. She died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. 
James R. Alvord, in West Winsted, Conn., May 22, 1878, in 
the eighty-second year of her age. 8 W H. Thomas, G. L. 
Taylor, and R. Codling were the ministers who took part in the 
funeral services. Her grave is near that of her husband. 

Seymour and Phcebe Landon were the parents of four chil- 
dren : Dillon S. Landon, M.D., whose memoir is found else- 
where in this book ; Mrs. Louisa E. Burruss, deceased ; Mrs. 
Mary E. Alvord j and the Rev Thompson H Landon, A.M., of 
the Newark Conference. 

Amanda Covert was in her childhood adopted as a member 
of Mr. Landon's family. She married Jeremiah Hendrickson, 
and at her home in Jamaica, L. I., Father Landon was tenderly 
cared for during the last years of his life. 

6 For these facts we are indebted to the Rev. George Lansing Taylor, D.D. 
— sketch in The Christian Advocate. 


he Rev. Noah Levings, D. D., received his appoint- 
ment to Brooklyn in the year 1829. He was a 
son of Noah Levings, and was born in Cheshire 
County, N. H., September 29, 1796. His parents moved to 
Troy, N. Y., when he was but a lad. They were in very 
humble circumstances, and their boy grew up with exceed- 
ingly limited opportunities, being sent from home to earn 
his own living at nine years of age, and apprenticed to a 
blacksmith at sixteen. He heard Peter P Sandford preach 
in Troy, and, during a revival under the ministry of Laban 
Clark, in 18 13, he united with the church on probation. He 
was small of stature, and bashful, and apparently about six- 
teen years of age. At the close of the second public meet- 
ing in which he in great simplicity attempted to pray, 

The official brethren gathered around the preacher; one inquired who the boy 
was; another said his forwardness must be checked; and a third that he must be 
stopped altogether. The preacher simply replied, "No, brethren, let that boy 
alone; there is something in him more than you are aware of;" and from that 
time no one questioned the right of the blacksmith boy to officiate in the pub- 
lic prayer-meetings. 1 

Thus actively from the first did he engage in Christian 
work but he did not receive the spirit of adoption until two 
years afterward. At this time, encouraged by his pastor, To- 
bias Spicer, he improved his gift in exhortation. Stevens 
quotes the following concerning him: 

After working at the anvil through the day, he would throw off his apron and 
paper cap, wash, and change his dress, and walk with Spicer to Albia, where 
he exhorted at the close of the sermons. 2 

1 Clark in Meth. Quar. Review, 1849, p. 519. 
s Hist. M. E. Church, vol. iv, p. 263. 

i NG-RAVc .. ST r. _ ^t S, t . 


T'.'AI , LLEVDK(Qg E)c. 


''■/.'■'/'/-cy'tyr/cr .>_ '/■■ 

'■'/ '■'- J-'/./'^/ 

Record of Ministers. 259 

In 1807 he received from his pastor, Samuel Luckey, an ex- 
horter's license, and soon afterward he was licensed to preach. 
He was then twenty-one years of age. Samuel Luckey records 
that on coming to Troy he became deeply interested in the 
young blacksmith, finding him serious, modest, well-disposed, 
and of" an uncommonly brilliant mind ; " and he gives the fol- 
lowing interesting account of a meeting conducted by Levings 
while visiting Troy, during the first year of his ministry, which 
sets forth in a strong light the zeal and faithfulness of the young 
itinerant : 

At the close of the evening service I returned to my house and left him at 
the church with a large number of his companions, who remained behind for 
the purpose of practicing in sacred music. After I had been at home a short 
time there came a lad running in great haste to appiise me that I was wanted 
at the church. Without knowing for what purpose I was going, I made my 
way to the church as soon as possible, and there witnessed a scene which is 
more easily conceived than described. I found Mr. Levings at the altar en- 
gaged in prayer, and about forty, chiefly young persons, kneeling around it, 
and, upon inquiry, I ascertained that this was the explanation : Mr. Levings 
was sitting in the altar while the young people were singing, and he observed a 
young lady silting near, weeping. He went and spoke to her, and found that 
she was deeply concerned on the subject of her salvation. He asked her if 
he should pray for her, and when she answered in the affirmative he requested 
that the singing might be suspended, and proposed that they should join in 
prayer ; they did so, and such was the effect of the announcement that forty ~ 
came and knelt with her. I have rarely witnessed a more affecting scene than 
was passing when I entered the church. 

We here transcribe a list of his 

CONFERENCE APPOINTMENTS: 1818, (New York Conf.,) Ley- 
den cir., Vt. and Mass., with I. Cannon ; 1819, Pownal cir., Vt., with D. 
Lewis; 1820, ordained deacon, — Montgomery cir., N. Y., with F. Draper; 
r82i, Saratoga cir., with Jacob Hall ; 1822, ordained elder, — Middlebury, 
Vt. ; 1823-1824, Burlington ; 1825, Charlotte cir., with J. Poor ; 1826, ditto, 
withC. Meeker ; 1S27, New York, with T. Burch, N. White, R. Seney, J. J. 
Matthias, and J. Field : 1828, ditto, with T. Burch, Coles Carpenter, J. Hunt, 
J. J. Matthias, and George Coles ; 1829-1830, Brooklyn, with James Covel, 
Jr. ; 1831-1832, New Haven, Conn. ; 1833. (Troy Conf.,) Albany, Garrettson 
station ; 1834-1835, Troy, State-street ; 1836-1837, Schenectady ; 1838, presid- 
ing elder, Troy Dist. ; 1839, Troy, North Second-street ; I840-1841, Albany, 
Division-street ; 1842, Troy, State-street ; 1843-1844, (New York Conf.,) New 
York, Vestry-street ; 1S44-1848, financial secretary Am. Bible Society. 

While on the Montgomery circuit he was married to Miss 
Sarah Clark. In Brooklyn, in 1829, he was called to mourn the 
death of one of his children, " little Charles Wesley." A few 

260 Old Sands Street Church. 

months subsequently he accompanied John Garrison to Salem, 
N. J., to erect a monument over the grave of Benjamin Abbott.* 
The Christian Advocate contains an account of a great revival 
under his ministry in Schenectady, in 1837. A warm personal 
friendship grew up between him and Dr. Nott, the president of 
Union College, on whose recommendation that institution con- 
ferred upon him the degree of D.D. While he was pastor in 
Schenectady he buried his mother. Four years later (1841) his 
father, who had been a Revolutionary soldier, died in Lockport, 
N. Y 

Dr. Levings was a member of General Conference in 1832, 
1836, and 1840. A sermon of his on " The Foundation of the 
Church " was published, 4 also an important historic article con- 
cerning John Garrison and Brooklyn Methodism. 6 The orig- 
inal Methodist church edifice in Fair Haven, Conn., (now East 
Pearl-street, New Haven,) was built under his administration. 
He dedicated thirty-eight churches and preached nearly four 
thousand sermons. In the service of the American Bible So- 
ciety he traveled more than thirty-six thousand miles, and de- 
livered nearly three hundred addresses. 

J. M. Van Cott, Esq., of Brooklyn, describes a sermon 
preached by Dr. Levings in the Sands-street church more than 
fifty years ago, exceeding, probably, all others he ever heard in 
its effect upon the congregation. It was on the eve of a revival 
effort. The text was, "Awake, thou that sleepest," etc. The 
preacher was all aflame with his subject. The excitement of 
the hearers reached a point beyond any precedent in the old 
Sands-street church. Though a Methodist people, they were 
an eminently cultured, decorous, dignified class of Method- 
ists, and yet they all rose to their feet ; some stood on the 
seats, weeping, laughing, shouting — a marvelous example of the 
power of the preacher over the minds and hearts of his hearers. 

In an admirable memoir, written at his request by Dr. (after- 
ward Bishop) Clark, is the following clear and discriminating 
account of his characteristics as a preacher : 

The cast of his mind was not that which grapples with profound truths and 
evolves mighty thoughts, but rather that which would take the popular and 

3 Methodist Quarterly Review, 1849, p. 530. 

4 See Methodist Magazine, May, 1828, p. 201. 

6 Methodist Quarterly Review, 1831, pp. 258-273. 

Record of Ministers. 261 

practical view of things. His reasonings generally were of this tone and 
character. * * * He combined, in an unusual degree, close argumentation 
with apt and striking illustration and an animated and attractive delivery. 
* * * His manner was self-possessed, the intonations of his voice well-man- 
aged, and his gesture easy and appropriate. 6 

His remarkable fluency of utterance, and his great success 
as a platform speaker, are a matter of frequent remark. The 
author just quoted says of his social qualities : 

His manner was affable and winning ; his heart was warm and generous ; 
his mind naturally fertile and lively, and stored with an inexhaustible fund of 
anecdote, coupled with a retentive and ready memory, a brilliant imagination- 
a striking aptness at comparison, and fine colloquial powers, made him a most 
delightful companion in social life. * * * He was an almost universal 

In person he was " of medium size," with " a form remarkably 
symmetrical," and " a countenance strongly expressive of be- 
nevolent feeling." 7 

In the early part of January, 1849, while on an extended tour 
in the service of the American Bible Society, he reached Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio, when sickness compelled him to halt. He was 
most lovingly cared for at the house of his very devoted friends, 
Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Burton, whose gratitude to him for the 
kind counsels and consolations he had imparted when he was 
their pastor in the East knew no bounds. From their hospit- 
able home, far away from his family, he was summoned to his 
reward on the 9th of January, 1849, i n tne fifty-third year of his 
age. His biographer says : 

His sufferings were great, but in the midst of them all he enjoyed perfect 
peace, and signal was his triumph, through grace, in the last conflict. When 
he found that the great object of his earthly desire— to see his family once 
more in the flesh and to die among his kindred — could not be realized, he 
only exclaimed, " The will of the Lord be done." On one occasion, when he 
was sitting up, Brother Burton placed a large Bible to support his head that 
he might breathe more easily. Observing the letters upon the back, he ex- 
claimed, " Blessed book ! how cheerless would this world be without thy di- 
vine revelation." When Bishop Morris reached the city and hastened to the 
bedside of his dying friend, he said to him : " Thank God that I am permitted 
to see your face once more. I am not able to converse much, but I can still 
say, ' Glory to God ! ' " The Bishop inquired if he had any message to send 
to his brethren of the New York Conference. " Tell them," he said, " I die 

6 Methodist Quarterly Review, 1849, P- 54°- 

7 Dr. Luckey, in Sprague's Annals. 

262 Old Sands Street Church. 

in Christ ; I die in the hope of the gospel. * * * All before me is light, and 
joyful, and glorious." 

Bishop Morris preached his funeral sermon. His remains 
were buried in the city cemetery of Cincinnati ; subsequently 
they were deposited in the Wesleyan cemetery, where it is said, 
" a suitable monument was erected to perpetuate his memory ; " 8 
and finally they were removed by the family to "Greenwood" 
in Brooklyn, N. Y. A head-stone marks his grave. 

Sarah (Clark,) his wife, was born in Amsterdam, N. Y., 
September 5, 1797. She died in New York, December 4, 1865, 
aged sixty-eight years, and was buried in Greenwood cemetery, 
by the side of her husband. 

Their children are all dead. They were eight in number, as 
follows : Noah Clark, born in Middlebury, Vt., December 19, 
1822 ; died February 12, 1823 ; Noah Clark 2d, born in Burling- 
ton, Vt., March 4, 1824, baptized by Buel Goodsell, died in 
New York, June 10, 1883, aged fifty-nine years — first a Method- 
ist, finally an Episcopalian, a physician by profession ; Francis 
Asbury, born in Monkton, Vt., June 17, 1826 ; died August 1, 
1826 ; George Suckley, born in New York city, February 27, 1828 ; 
died January 14, 1865 ; Charles Wesley, born in Brooklyn, N. 
Y., July 18, 1829; died, July 30, 1829; Wilbur Fisk, born in 
New Haven, Conn., April 23, 1832; died October 9, 1833; 
Martha Ann and Sarah, twins, born in Troy, N. Y., April 7, 
1835 — Sarah died May 13, 1836, Martha Ann died July 24, 1840. 

Allen Levings, M.D., of New York, son of the physician above 
named, is the only survivor among the descendants of the Rev. 
Dr. Noah Levings. 

8 Rev. Myron H. Breckenridge in The Christian Advocate, June 7, 1883. 



he Rev James Covel, Jr., A. M. ranks high among 
the honored pastors of the old Sands-street Church. 
His father, James Covel, Sen., as stated by Parks 
in the "Troy Conference Miscellany," was the son of a Bap- 
tist minister, whose wife was a Methodist. He joined the 
Methodist itinerancy in 1791, located in 1797, and was a 
practicing physician for many years. He was one of the 
three preachers who ordained the first elders in the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1822.' His wife, Sa- 
rah, mother of James Covel, Jr., became a Methodist in 1793, 
and stood firm and faithful in the midst of great persecution. 
She died at the residence of her son, Samuel Covel, in the 
city of New York, Mav 19, 1856, and her funeral was attend 
ed by the Rev. Dr. J. B. Wakeley. 3 

The elder Covel was stationed in Marblehead, Mass, in 
1795, an d there, on the fourth of September, 1796, the subject 
of this sketch was born. An interesting coincidence is no- 
ticed in the lives of James Covel, Jr. and Peter Jayne. Both 
were natives of Marblehead; both were converted at sixteen 
years of age; both began to preach within three years after 
their conversion, and both became pastors of the Sands- 
street Church. 

The author of the memorial of James Covel, Jr., speaks of 
his early disrelish for study and the great improvement he 
afterward manifested in that respect. 3 At seventeen he joined 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and when about nineteen 
years of age he received his first license to preach, signed by 
Nathan Bangs, as presiding elder. The church claiming his 
service, he relinquished his trade, and gave himself up to a 

1 Rush's Rise and Progress of the African M. E. Church, p. 78. 

2 Christian Advocate. In the Troy Conference Miscellany the maternal 
grandfather of the Rev. J. Covel, Jr. is said to have been a Methodist preach- 
er. The same authority speaks of his brother as the Rev. Samuel Covel. 

3 Parks' Troy Conf . Miscellany. 

264 Old Sands Street Church. 

life-long service as a minister of Christ. The following is his 

PASTORAL RECORD : 1815, supply on Litchfield cir., Conn., with 
Samuel Cochran, Billy Hibbard, and Smith Dayton; 1816, (New York Conf.,) 
l'ittsfield cir., Mass., with Lewis Pease and Timothy Benedict, supply; 4 1817, 
Brandon cir., Vt., with D. Lewis and C. H. Gridley; 1818, ordained deacon, — 
Dunham cir., Canada; 1819, St. Albans cir., Vt., with B. Goodsell; 1820, or- 
dained elder, — Ticonderoga cir., N. Y.; 1821, St. Albans cir., Vt., with A. 
Dunbar; 1822, Grand Isle; 1823, Charlotte cir., with C. Prindle; 1824, ditto, 
with L. C. Filley; 1825, Peru cir., N. Y., with O. Pier; 1826, ditto, with P. 
Doane; 1827-1828,. Watervliet; 1829-1830, Brooklyn, with Noah Levings; 
1831, Williamsburgh, L. I.; 1832-1833, Newburgh; 1834, New Windsor cir., 
with N. Rice; 1835, ditto, with John R. Rice and T. Edwards; 1836, New 
York, west cir., with C. W. Carpenter, J. Z. Nichols, L. Mead, and E. E. 
Griswold; 1837, ditto, with C. W. Carpenter, J. Z. Nichols, A. S. Francis, 
and C. K. True; 1838-1840, (Troy Conf.,) 5 Principal Troy Conf. Academy 
West Poultney,Vt.; 184], Fort Ann cir., N. Y., with W. Amer and W. Miller; 
1842, ditto, with C. Devol and C. E. Giddings; 1843-1844, Troy, State-street, 
with John W Lindsay, six months in 1844. 

A venerable friend of Mr. Covel's wrote thus concerning the 
young preacher's labors as supply on Litchfield circuit : 

His first and probably his only sermon preached in North Watertown, Conn., 
is in the recollection of the writer, then a lad of thirteen years. His youthful 
appearance is well remembered, as he applied himself to his work, with his 
coat off, on a winter's evening, in a crowded little school-house. It was 
near New-Year's-day, 1816. 6 

The people on his next circuit (Pittsfield, Mass.) were proud 
of their young preachers, Covel and Benedict, whom they called 
their "boy team." The boys while riding together one day 
were debating a biblical question, and agreed to leave it to Dr. 
Bangs, the presiding elder. " The doctor's decision favored 
Benedict's opinion. ' Well,' said Covel, with thoughtful earnest- 
ness, ' I will give it up, because I said I would, but I am no more 
convinced than I was before.' " 7 

While in Ticonderoga, July 16, 1821, he was married to Miss 
Anna G. Rice. His ministry in Brooklyn was attended with 
unusual success. While there he reported in " The Christian 
Advocate " a three-days' meeting, resulting in over one hun- 

4 Memoir of Covel in Troy Conference Miscellany. 

6 His memoir in Conference Minutes, 1845, p. 600, says erroneously that 
he was transferred in 1835. 

" Manuscript sketch by Dr. A. J. Skilton, of Troy, N. Y. 
1 Parks's Miscellany. 

Record of Ministers. 265 

dred conversions. The statistics on page 43 of this work show 
a large increase of members. 

Mr. Covel was a good preacher. He indulged in no flights 
of fancy in the pulpit, but was " concise, clear, strong, and im- 
pressive," and intelligent people were exceedingly pleased with 
his sermons. The Rev. Tobias Spicer writes : 

He generally preached without manuscript, but sometimes had a brief out- 
line of his discourse. His preaching was generally expository. He had a 
happy art of keeping the attention of his audience. 8 

However, he was not a " splendid " preacher. One of his 
old friends and parishioners says of him : 

Brother Covel, in the State-street charge, succeeded the Rev. Noah Levings, 
who was a Trojan, and at that time one of the most popular and able preach- 
ers of the day. Brother Covel was a man of the old stamp, able, sound, of 
good administrative ability, but he did not hold the congregation. In the fall 
of 1844 his health was poor, and the church asked for an assistant, and 
Bishop Hedding sent John W. Lindsay, then quite young, but he filled the 
place with perfect satisfaction. John Newland M afrit labored with us thirteen 
weeks, and there was a large number added to the State-street church, and all 
the churches in the city gained largely in numbers. * * * Of James Covel 
it :nay be said that his earnest and consistent life was a good example of the 
living gospel. 9 

Mr. Slicer gives a still further account of his friend : 

In the social circle Mr. Covel rendered himself at once instructive and 
agreeable. * * * When in company with his brethren in the ministry, he 
was fond of discussing some difficult passage of Scripture, or some knotty point 
of Christian theology. 

In devout love of learning he had few superiors, and his at- 
tainments entitled him to a good position among educated men. 
The degree of Mastec of Arts was conferred upon him by the 
Wesleyan University in 1835. His son makes the following 
statement : 

My father was a great student. No time was lost with him, and his re- 
searches took a wide range ; yet he kept close to the one purpose of his life, 
the Christian ministry. It seemed to be his first great ambition to read the 
Scriptures in the original Greek and Hebrew, and so thoroughly did he ac- 
complish his purpose, that he was known frequently to recall from memory a 
quotation in the original, before he could remember the language of the 
translation. 10 

8 See Sprague's Annals. 

9 Reuben Peckham, Esq. — letter to the author. 

10 Win. B. Covel— letter to the author. 

266 Old Sands Street Church. 

Like many others distinguished for their diligence in study, 
his abstractions sometimes led him into ludicrous mistakes. 
On one occasion, when a friend entered his study, he gravely 
bade him good-bye. In the midst of his studies he " forgot his 
appointment to preach." u It is said that some of the preachers, 
who could not appreciate his studious habits, were kind enough 
to admonish him that " knowledge puffeth up." 

He was a member of General Conference in 1832 and 1844. 
His chief literary works were a series of Question Books for 
Sabbath-schools, and a Bible Dictionary, i8mo, which passed 
through several editions. At the time of his death he was en- 
gaged in the preparation of a work, entitled " The Preacher's 
Manual." The unfinished manuscript remains as he left it. 
The accompanying portrait was copied from a painting made 
when Mr. Covel was about forty years of age. The counte- 
nance, though that of a scholar, is not " sicklied o'er with the 
pale cast of thought," but indicates a robust physical condition. 
Tobias Spicer, in Sprague's Annals, says of him : 

Mr. Covel was a man of noble appearance and bearing, rather above the 
ordinary height, and a little inclined to corpulency, but well proportioned. 
He had a full face, well-developed features, an intelligent expression, and a 
rather dark, sandy complexion. He was simple in his dress and manners, 
and as far removed as possible from even the semblance of ostentation. 

He adhered with unswerving principle to " the conscientious 
performance of every conceived duty." In one of his last 
public acts he gave an instance of this fidelity. Our authority 
says : 

At the great revival in the State-street church in Troy, when he was sta- 
tioned there in 1844-45, a large number were added to the church, and of 
these there were eighteen or twenty who desired to be baptized by immersion, 
and it fell to his lot to perform that service. He baptized them against the 
advice of his family physician, in the month of March, in the ice-cold waters 
of the Mohawk, because he deemed it his duty to do so. The result was a 
fatal termination of his malady in about six weeks thereafter. 12 

After great suffering and a most beautiful and affecting fare- 
well to his family, he passed into everlasting rest during the 
session of his conference, on the 15th of May, T845, in the 
forty-ninth year of his age. The last words he uttered were, 
" Tell Brother Mattison that I died happy." His funeral was 

11 Park's Miscellany. 

12 Win. B. Covel's letter. 

Record of Ministers. 267 

attended by more than a score of his ministerial brethren, and 
Bishop Hedding preached from the words, " I am now ready to 
be offered," etc. He was buried in Mt. Ida cemetery, in Troy, 
and a plain head-stone marks the place of his rest. In the 
same lot are the remains of three other deceased members of 
the Troy Conference. 

Anna G., his wife, was born August 5, 1802, and was married 
to Mr. Co.vel before she was nineteen years of age, January 16, 
182 1. She died of paralysis, at the home of her daughter, in 
East Portland, Oregon, January 4, 1881, aged seventy-eight 
years. She spent. the last ten years of her life with her children 
in the Far West. " She was dignified, cultured, thoroughly 
attached to the itinerant system — a noble woman in every re- 
spect." Her daughter writes : 

At the time of her death no one would have supposed her to be in her 
seventy-ninth year. Her hair retained its glossy blackness, and her mind 
was bright and active. Until she lost consciousness she was in a very happy 
state of mind, beholding bright visions of angels and loved ones gone before. 13 

Her son pays the following tribute to her memory : 

Of our dear mother we have only sweet and pleasant recollections. Though 
many years of her life were spent in suffering, she was always cheerful, pa- 
tient, full of hope ; her light shone brighter and brighter to the close of her 
long and peaceful life. So delicate were her sensibilities, that she was fre- 
quently in some anxiety of mind, lest inadvertently, by word or deed, she had 
offended in some particular. She now sleeps in the Lone Fir cemetery, in 
East Portland, Oregon, but the body will soon be removed to Oak Hill cem- 
etery, near San Jose, California. 14 

Of the five children pf James and Anna G. Covel who arrived 
at maturity, the eldest died in Dubuque, Iowa ; William B., 
resides in San Jose, Cal., (business, real estate ;) James £., of 
Lawrence, Kansas, is proprietor of the Lawrence Tribune ; 
Mary J., (Mrs. Briggs,) resides in East Portland, Oregon ; 
Cornelia, (Mrs. E. C. Lawrence,) resides in the State of New 

13 Letter of Mrs. Mary J. Briggs. 

14 Wm. B. Covel— letter to the author. 




he Rev John Christian Green was born in the 
city of New York, May 2, 1798. His father, who 
was a physician, died when John was about twelve 
years of age. The marriage of John C. Green to Miss Esther 
Henry took place on the twenty-sixth of August, 1820. In 
less than two years thereafter he entered the itinerant minis- 
try of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

PASTORAL RECORD: 1822, (New York Con f.) Newburgh cir., N. Y., 
with Jesse Hunt; 1823, Coeyman's cir., with B. Sillick; 1824, ordained deacon 
— Pittstown cir., with Benj. Griffen; 1825, ditto, with N. Rice and W. II. 
Norris; 1S26, ordained elder — Whitehall cir., with W. P Lake and Lorin 
Clark; 1827, Poultney, Vt. ; 1828, Middlebury; 1829-1830, Albany, N. Y., south; 
1831, Brooklyn, with C. W. Carpenter; 1832, ditto, with C. W. Carpenter 
and J. C. Tackaberry; 1833. New York, west cir. , with P. P. Sandford, F. Reed, 
J. Bowen, and C. W Carpenter; 1834, ditto, with J. B. Stratton, F Reed, P. 
DeVinne, and J. C. Tackaberry; 1835, Middletown, Conn.; 1836-1837, agent 
for Wesleyan University; 1838, New Paltz cir., N. Y., with E. Crawford; 1839, 
ditto, with Eben Smith; 1840, Montgomery cir., with S. Bonney: 1841, Mont- 
gomery and Middletown cir., with J. Davy; 1342-1S43, New York, Green-st; 
1844-1845, Yonkers, with T. Burch, sup'y; 1846, Brooklyn, Centenary ch. and 
Flatbush; 1847, withdrew; 1848-1853, (August,) pastor First Congregational 
Methodist church, Brooklyn. 

Mr. Green was charged before the New York Conference 
in 1826 with the intemperate use of ardent spirits, but on ex- 
amination was acquitted. 

Record of Ministers. 269 

In the year 1846, when Mr. Green was pastor of the Johnson- 
street church, Brooklyn, he allowed John Newland Maffit, 
whose character and authority as a minister were not at that 
time clear before the church, to preach in his pulpit, and 
refused to obey the bishop's instructions to erase his name 
from the church records. 1 For this offense Mr. Green was 
suspended from the use of his ministerial functions for one 
year. Potter J. Thomas, of Brooklyn, and others, who were 
cognizant of all the facts, affirm that the official board, rather 
than the pastor, insisted on employing Mr. Maffit; that Mr. 
Green presented the bishop's letter to the board, saying that 
he must act accordingly ; but the trustees replied that they felt 
bound to keep their engagement with Maffit, and that they 
would assume the entire responsibility, should the pastor be 
arraigned before the conference. Viewing the matter from 
their stand-point, the friends of Mr. Green considered his sus- 
pension by the conference a great injustice, and some of the 
reasons for this belief have been published. 2 

After his trial and suspension he withdrew from the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church; the Centenary church revolted, refusing 
to receive their new pastor, and undertook, as an independent 
organization, to retain Mr. Green. In the litigation which fol- 
lowed the courts decided that the Methodist Episcopal Church 
could hold the property; whereupon a large number of the 
members withdrew, and established, under Mr. Green's leader- 
ship, a Congregational Methodist church, in Lawrence-street, 

A few years later, (in 1849,) ex- Justice John Pierce, step- 
father of Maffit's wife, having spoken of Green as a " drunken 
scoundrel," the latter brought a suit against Pierce for slander, 
and a verdict was given in favor of the plaintiff. John Dike- 
man and James M. Smith, Jr., were counsel for Mr. Green. 
Among the prominent witnesses in the case were the Revs. 
Nathan Bangs, George Peck, Valentine Buck, John C. Tacka- 
berry, Bradley Silleck, and William H. Norris; also, Messrs. 
Jacob Brown, Joseph Moser, John Smith, Rufus S. Hibbard, 
J. Wesley Harper, Henry R. Piercey, and others. The entire 

*See the Christian Advocate and Journal, January 9, 1847. 

2 See Rufus S. Ilibbard's pamphlet, entitled "Startling Disclosures con- 
cerning the Death of John Newland Maffit," pp. 16-22 ; also "The Trial of 
Green vs. Pierce," p. 39. 

270 Old Sands Street Church. 

ministerial life of Mr. Green was throughly canvassed. It was 
not proved by the evidence adduced, nor is it now claimed by 
the friends of Mr. Green, that he was a teetotaler; and it seems 
to us an error and a misfortune that, as a minister of Jesus 
Christ, he did not attain to that standard. That he was an 
inebriate, either before or after this trial, his most intimate 
friends declare to be false. 3 The tremulous, excitable state in 
which he was often seen, was declared by Dr. Reese to be due 
to a constitutional infirmity, or mobility of temperament. 4 

John C. Green is described as a fine-looking man, rather tall, 
an excellent speaker, with pleasant voice and winning manner, 
and a very happy and "impressive way of putting things." 
There was a nervous energy and a manifest unction attending 
his appeals under the excitement of revival services rarely sur- 
passed by the best evangelists. 

He survived his resignation as pastor of the Congregational 
Methodist church only about eight months, and died of paralysis, 
in the city of Brooklyn, on the 7th of April, I854, aged fifty-six 
years. His grave in Greenwood cemetery is marked by a stone 
carved in the form of a pulpit. 

Esther, wife of John C. Green, was born in the town of New- 
burgh, N. Y., May 2, 1798, and died September 14, 1875, m tne 
78th year of her age. She is buried by the side of her husband. 
One of their sons, James Wilson, attended the Wesleyan Uni- 
versity in 1836, and afterward died in Texas. John Henry, 
another son, resides in New Jersey, and is engaged in business 
in the city of New York. One daughter, Elizabeth, died at 
the age of sixteen. Mary C. married a Mr. Porter, and for her 
second husband a Mr. Bellinger, of Davenport, Iowa. Caroline 
was married to Mr. Levi P Rose. She is now deceased. 
Emma E. married Daniel Colgrove, of Brooklyn, and she, like- 
wise, is dead. 

8 The author has conversed with William I. Steele, Potter J. Thomas. 
Rufus S. Hibbard, and others, and their testimony is decided and unanimous 
on that point. 

4 Trial, Green vs. Pierce. 


considerable number of young persons who be- 
gan their Christian life in the Sands-street church 
became ministers of the gospel. Prominent a- 
mong them in point of talent and usefulness, and preceding 
most of them in point of time, was the Rev. Charles Wes- 
ley Carpenter, distinguished, moreover, as the only one of 
the Sands-street converts who became pastor of that church. 
His father, Thomas Carpenter, was a native of Long Is- 
land, "and one of the noble men of early Methodism" in the 
city of New York. As an active business man, as a patriotic 
citizen in the Revolution, as an alderman of the city for sev- 
eral years, as one of the first managers of the American Bible 
Society, as a member of our missionary board, as trustee and 
class-leader in John-street church, he "served his generation 
by the will of God." He probably retained his membership 
in the John-street church until his death, but was buried in 
the Sands-street church-yard in 1825. Edith (Bunce), moth- 
er of Charles YV Carpenter, died before her son was sixteen 
years of age. 1 

1 On her tomb-stone in the Sands-street church-yard it is stated that she died 
March 13, 1808, aged 46. For sketch of Thomas Carpenter and his second 
wife see Wakeley's "Lost Chapters," pp. 547-550. 

o-7 Old Sands Street Church. 

The subject of this sketch was born in New York city, 
December 16, 1792. He was brought to a saving knowledge of 
Christ in Brooklyn, in 1806, during a gracious revival season, 
in which were converted two other young men — Marvin Rich- 
ardson and Josiah Bowen — who became eminently honored and 
useful ministers of God. The following account of his conver- 
sion is in his own words : 

Though at different times I was the subject of serious thoughts, yet no last- 
ing impressions were made upon my mind until my fourteenth year? 2 At that 
time my parents lived in Brooklyn, where they retired in the summer season 
for the benefit of pure air. A revival of religion broke out under Mr. E. 
Cooper, then stationed at that place. 3 On a Sabbath evening, having loitered 
about the meeting-house until after the sermoi had closed, I went in to see 
the exercises which took place among those that were under awakenings. My 
attention was caught by the earnest devotion of a young man just emerged 
from darkness into light. I looked at him for some time, when my heart 
became so affected that I could not refrain from shedding tears. I felt an 
earnest desire for the same enjoyment which he seemed already in possession 
of, but did not feel, in so great a degree as many, the horrors of a guilty con- 
science. This may have been in consequence of my tender years. I sat down 
with a sorrowful heart, when a godly man, James Herbert, noticing my agita- 
tion, came to me, and in an affectionate strain, urged the necessity of my 
being born again. His words, attended with the power of God, fastened 
conviction upon my mind. I remained in the meeting-house till quite late, 
my burden and sorrow of soul continually increasing. On Thursday evening, 
in conversation with a young disciple of Christ, P. Coopers, my mind seemed 
measurably relieved, but yet I was not satisfied. In the course of the Friday 
following I retired frequently, and poured out my soul to God in prayer. In 
the afternoon, while engaged in private, (the spot I well remember,) I felt 
a sudden and glorious change in my feelings. My burden was fully removed ; 
my soul was filled with inexpressible peace. 4 

Thenceforward he was a happy and devout Christian. He 
entered Columbia College, but on account of ill-health was not 
able to complete the course. 6 When a little past nineteen 
years of age, he received from Freeborn Garrettson his first 
license to exhort, and on the 20th of October, in the same year, 
he was licensed as a local preacher by the quarterly conference 
in New York. He was married April 24, 1813, 6 being less than 
twenty-one years of age. One year later he was admitted to 

9 Not his eighteenth year, as stated in M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopaedia. 

3 Samuel Thomas was his associate. 

4 Quoted in his memoir — Conference Minutes, 1853, pp. 194, 195. 
6 Sprague's Annals and M'Clintock and Strong. 

6 Suffolk Circuit quarterly conference record. 

Record of Ministers. 273 

the annual conference on trial, and the following, in brief, 
is his 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1814, (New York Conf.,) Suffolk and Sag 
Harbor cir., N. Y., with A. Scbolefield ; 1815-1827, local preacher, Savannah, 
Ga.; 1820, ordained deacon; 1826, ordained elder; 1828, (New York Conf.,) 
Suffolk and Sag Harbor cir., N. Y., with R. Seaman and O. V. Amerman ; 1829- 
1830, Sag Harbor ; 1831, Brooklyn cir., with John C. Green ; 1832, ditto, 
with J. C. Green and J. C. Tackaberry; 1833, New York, west cir., with P. P. 
Sandford, Fitch Reed, Josiah Bowen, and J. C. Green; 1834, Sag Harbor and 
Bridge Hampton cir., with Harvey Husted ; 1835, Sag Harbor and East 
Hampton 1836, New York, west cir.,, with J. Covel, Jr., J. Z. Nichols, L. 
Mead, E. E. Griswold, and L. Pease, sup'y; 1837, ditto, with J. Covel, Jr., J. Z. 
Nichols, A. S. Francis, C. K. True, N. Bigelow, sup'y, and R. Seaman, sup'y ; 
1838-1839, Poughkeepsie; 1S40-1843, presiding elder New Haven District, Ct. ; 
1844-1845, Brooklyn, Washington-street ; 1 846-1 847, New Paltz and Platte- 
kill cir., with John Reynolds ; 1847, ditto, with J. K. Still ; 1848-1S49, North 
Newburgh, with J. \V Le Fevre, sup'y, and R. H. Bloomer, sup'y; 1850- 
1851, sup'y, Plattekill cir., with John C. Chatterton, sup'y; 1852, sup'y, 
Pleasant Valley, in the Newburgh District. 

His retirement at the close of his first conference year was 
mainly on account of ill-health ; nevertheless, he was able to 
engage in business while in the South. Returning, he was 
warmly welcomed by a host of friends, recommended to the 
annual conference by the quarterly conference of Suffolk cir- 
cuit, and re-appointed to his former charge. In Sag Harbor, 
where he was pastor three terms, the author has heard the 
older people speak of their exceedingly pleasant recollections of 
his ministry among them. He was secretary of his conference 
for many years, and in 1840 and 1844 was elected to a seat in 
the General Conference. 

His last sickness was attended with extreme suffering, but 
greater than his bodily pain was his grief on account of not 
being able to meet his brethren in conference. He departed 
this life in peace, May- 10, 1853, during the session of the New 
York Conference, in the sixty-third year of his age. His death 
occurred in the same house, in Plattekill, N. Y., where Daniel 
Ostrander died ten years before. Dr. John Kennaday preached 
a sermon on his life and character. 8 His remains were first 
buried in Plattekill, but they now repose in Greenwood ceme- 
tery, on Long Island. 

'Sprague's Annals. 

8 The Christian Advocate. 

274 Old Sands Street Church. 

Charles Wesley Carpenter " held a high and strong position 
in the confidence of his brethren," who regarded him as pre- 
eminently " a Christian gentleman," and " an intelligent, able, 
and efficient minister of the New Testament." 9 Judge Dike- 
man said to the author: 

Brother Carpenter was familiar with almost every subject, but his conversa- 
tion always savored of religion. His sermons were uniformly short and neat, 
and his appearance in the pulpit was the most clerical of all the men I ever 

One of the leading ministers of the conference writes: 

I knew him as a most amiable boy, and a most amiable and excellent man. 

* * * He was a tall, slender man, of a graceful form and delicate features, 
and an expression of countenance indicating rare gentleness and loveliness. 

* * * His labors found great favor with some of the most intelligent congre- 
gations in the denomination. * * * I doubt exceedingly whether his image 
still lives in any memory, where it is not associated with every thing pure and 
lovely and of good repoit. 10 

His bland and peaceful spirit lulled many a rising storm in 
conference. He was too modest to be prominently active, and 
yet few men wielded a more persuasive influence in that body. 

Bethia (Walker,) his wife, was a native of Smithtown, L. I., 
a quiet, unobtrusive, industrious Christian woman, greatly 
devoted to her husband, and interested in his work. It was 
the author's privilege to converse with her frequently, while he 
was her pastor, in 1869 and 1870. She survived her husband 
about twenty-two years, and fell asleep in Jesus, in Newburgh, 
N. Y., in May, 1875, aged about eighty years. 

Their only children were Anna Maria, and Albert. The 
former died, an infant, in 1815 ; the latter was connected with 
the Sands-street church and Sunday-school for several years, 
and afterward removed to Newburgh, N. Y., where he died only 
a few years ago. 11 

9 Memoir in the Conference Minutes. 

10 Dr. Sa:nuel Luckey, in Sprague's Annals. 

11 See notice of Albert Carpenter, in Rook III. 



he Rev. John Cranwill 1 Tackaberry was born in 
the town of Wexford, Ireland, September 8, 1799. 
His parents, John and Jane (Cranwill) Tackaber- 
ry, were connected with the people called Methodists. Fos- 
sey Tackaberry, a brother of the subject of this sketch, was 
a very distinguished Methodist preacher in the Irish Confer- 
ence, whose life was written by the Rev. Robert Huston 
and published in Belfast. 

When J. C. Tackaberry was eighteen years of age he emi- 
grated to America, and resided some time in Quebec. There, 
in July, 1817, soon after his arival, he obtained the joy of 
pardon, and before many days united with the people of God. 
His conference memorial says: 

In 1819 he received license as an exhorter, and faithfully and zealously served 
the church in that capacity until 1821, when he was licensed as a local preach- 
er. For a year or two subsequently he was employed under the presiding el- 
der to labor within the limits of the Canada Conference. In 1826 he was or- 
dained as a local deacon by Bishop Soule. 2 

Thenceforward he received the following 

APPOINTMENTS: 1827, (Pittsburgh Conf.,) Greenfield dr., Pa., with P 
Buckingham; 1828, Washington cir. ; 1829, ordained elder, — (New York Conf.) 
Troy, N. Y., with S. Merwin; 1830, Kingston, with F. W. Smith and E. An- 
drews, 1831, Catskill and Saugerties cir., with D. Poor; 1832, Brooklyn, with 
J. C. Green; 1833, Stratford and Bridgeport cir.. Conn.; 1834, New York, 
west cir., with J. B. Stratton, F. Reed, J. C. Green and D. DeYinne; 1835, 
ditto, with J. B. Stratton, D. DeVinne. L. Mead and E. E. Griswold; 1836, 
visited Europe on business and to see his friends; on his return, Harlem mis- 
sion, with John Luckey and D. DeVinne; 1837, Montgomery cir., with David 
Webster; 1858, Harlem mission, with J. Floy; 1839, ditto, with S. H. Clark; 
1840, Stamford, Ct., and Poundridge, N. Y., with S. J. Stebbins and I. San- 

1 This is said to be one form of the celebrated name Cromwell. The widow 
of J. C. Tackaberry says Cranwill was her husband's name, not Cranville, as 
it is spelled in the Conference Minutes and elsewhere. He usually omitted the 
second name in writing his own signature. See Life of the Rev. Fossey Tack- 
aberry, p. 298, where his grandmother Cranwill is mentioned. 

8 Conference Minutes, 1852, p. 42, and Hist. St. James' M. E. Church, New 
York, p. 57., 

276 Old Sands Street Church. 

1841-1843, sup'd ; 1844, New York, Seventh-street, with A. M. Osbon ; 
1845, sup'y, Brooklyn, Sands-street, with H. F. Pease; 1846, ditto, with 

N. Bangs; 1847, sup'y. New York, Forsyth-street, with J. B. Stratton; 1848- 
1849, sup'y, New York, Greene-street, with Daniel Smith; 1850, sup'y, ditto, 
with Davis Stocking; 1851, sup'y, New York, Bedford-street, with Addi Lee. 

His ministerial life, as above outlined, comprises many im- 
portant details, of which no record has been preserved. We 
must be content with a few interesting incidents. In a letter 
addressed to the Rev. W H. Dikeman, of New York, and pub- 
lished in one of our church papers, he describes a terrific storm 
at sea, which he encountered on his return from Europe, April 
19, 1837. The following extract conveys a vivid impression of 
the thrilling event : 

At half past two A. M. a black cloud arose above the horizon to the north- 
west. The first mate called the captain on deck. Suddenly the wind hauled 
round to the north-west, blowing violently and took the ship all aback, driv- 
ing her stern foremost at about five knots. The hands were immediately 
called to bring the ship about and shorten sail. While the sailors were per- 
forming this duty, a ball of fire or a flash of lightning struck the ship and 
passed down the rigging, exploding with a noise equal to the report of a can- 
non, and with such force that it knocked down almost all the men on the 
deck. The sparks of fire fell in every direction, and for some moments seemed 
to cover the deck. The sailors exclaimed that the ship was going down, while 
some of them ran to the forecastle. * * * In a few minutes another 
flash struck the ship and passed down the rigging, exploding the same as the 
first, and again knocking down several of the men. * * * The sail was 
shortened immediately, and a little after three o'clock the wind died away, 
and there was a dead calm. A few minutes before this phenomenon took 
place, I had been observing the progress of the vessel; but, perceiving no 
danger, I had turned into my berth again, when the ship received the first 
shock. As I had heard all hands called on deck, and knew that they had been 
taking in sail, my first thoughts were that some of the passengers on board had 
a quantity of powder which had exploded ; or that some of the hands had 
fallen from aloft and were killed. And as the shock jarred the skylight over 
the cabin, I thought whoever had fallen must have struck upon it, and that 
the large lamp which usually hung under it, being shaken, had caused the 
waving light which I had observed when the first flash took place. When I went 
to the lobby there was a smell of sulphur, as strong as if several guns had been 
discharged in it. I dressed as soon as possible, intending to go and render 
any assistance in my power to those who might be hurt, as I knew the hands 
were all employed. When the second explosion took place I was satisfied that 
it was lightning, and supposed that the vessel and all on board would be at 
the bottom in fifteen minutes. 

While I feel grateful to God for his goodness in preserving me amid the 
perils of the sea, I feel the highest satisfation in being permitted to meet my 
numerous friends on this side of the Atlantic. My travels through Europe 

Record of M misters. 277 

have only increased my attachment to our country and institutions, and I am 
fully satisfied there is really nothing (even in these embarrassed times) to 
prevent our being the happiest people under the sun. 3 

In his fortieth year, on New-Year's-day, 1839, he was married 
to Miss Sarah L. Tieman, an estimable lady, who still sur- 
vives, (1884,) in the thirty-fifth year of her widowhood. 

As appears from the list of his appointments, he was colleague 
of John C Green, in Brooklyn, in 1832. Seventeen years later 
the testimony of Mr. Tackaberry, in the case of Green versus 
Pierce, revealed the fact that there was a lack of harmony be- 
tween the two preachers while they were associate pastors in 
this charge. He says : 

I was removed at the end of one year. I did believe that Mr. Green and 
Judge Dikeman obtained my removal. * * * There«\vas a difficulty be- 
tween Mr. Green and myself. I told Mr. Merwin he was trying to keep peo- 
ple away from my congregations. * * * I stated the circumstances to 
prove it. 4 

Farther on in the testimony it is faintly intimated that Green 
found fault with his playing on the violin. These slight infe- 
licities were unquestionably more frequent formerly than now. 

In his best estate, before his health declined, his preaching 
was fervent, pungent, and often pathetic. He particularly ex- 
celled in "doctrinal discourses." W H. Dikeman, who knew 
him intimately from 1833, said to the author: 

Mr. Tackaberry wrote his sermons with great care, but preached without 
notes. It was his habit always to cite authorities, sacred or secular, and he 
was often called "Book, Chapter, and Verse," from his method of quoting 
Scripture in his sermons. 

In social intercourse he was bright. Few excelled him in wit and repartee, 
but his language was always chaste. I tested his friendship for nearly twenty 
years, and I never knew a man to show more unswerving fidelity to his friends 
in storm and in sunshine. 

Many others have spoken of him as " a walking concordance," 
and it has been affirmed that he knew the New Testament by heart. 

He was a man of slender build, taller than the average, of 
light complexion, and pleasant countenance. The likeness ac- 
companying this sketch, is copied from an oil portrait in the 
possession of the familv. 

The Christian Advocate and Journal, August 18, 1837. 
"The trial of the Rev. John C. Green against John Pierce for slander," 
P- 13- 

4 u 

278 Old Sands Street Church. 

In his later years he preached only occasionally. He longed 
for a return to the active ministry, but the derangement of his 
nervous system, and a tendency to congestion of the brain, made 
the labors of the pulpit impracticable. He died in the fifty- 
third year of his age, in New York city, May 9, 1852, of South- 
ern fever, contracted while he was chaplain and physician upon 
a New York and Nicaragua steamer. In one of his intervals of 
consciousness he said: "In the word of God is my trust; its 
promises are my support." 

His remains were first deposited in the vault of the 125th- 
street church, afterward they were removed to Greenwood. 

Of his six children all except Albert, who died in youth, are 
now living, (1884,) and continue to revere God and the church 
of their father.. They are John A., William G. If., Jane C, 
Emily G., and A. Antoinette. 




hen the "fathers " repeat the names of the most ad- 
mired and beloved of the earlier Methodist preachers 
of Brooklyn, the Rev. John Kennaday, D.D., is 
never omitted from the list. He was born in the 
city of New York, November 3, 1800. When he was quite 
young his father, who was a native of Ireland and a Roman 
Catholic, was drowned. His mother was a native of this coun- 
try. 1 He learned the printer's trade when a youth, but devoted 
his leisure hours to reading and study. A more minute account 
of the boyhood of such a man as Dr. Kennaday could not fail 
to be interesting and instructive. What there was in his train- 
ing and his early habits to inspire hope for his success in life 
would then be more apparent. Probably, however, there was 
little previous to his conversion, except his love of learning, to 
suggest the character of his subsequent career. 

On New-Year s Day, 1822, when twenty-one years of age, he 
was awakened in John-street church, New York, under a ser- 
mon preached by Heman Bangs, who thus graphically describes 
the beginning of young Kennaday s noble Christian career : 

In those days we took advantage of all the holidays to hold public worship, 
and in John-street we had a public service on New-Year's Day. My brother 
Nathan was to preach the sermon ; I went to the church ; he did not come, 
and I had to rise on the moment and preach myself; and Providence di- 
rected this young man (Kennaday) into the church, and God was pleased to 
awaken him. I held always, once a week, a meeting for seekers in my house. 
He attended and made known his desires, and I took him into the church. I 
exhorted him to preach and recommended him to travel, and was present 
when he received his first license. I remember the first speech he ever made 
in public. It was in John-street, the occasion being a love-feast. Our city 
(New York) was then one circuit, and we all came together for love-feast 
into one church, and consequently the church was crowded. Among 

1 The author learned these facts from the widow of the Rev. Dr. Kennaday. 

280 Old Sands Street Church. 

others, a young man arose in the back part of the church, near the gallery, 
and began to speak. The moment he opened his mouth it seemed like pour- 
ing the oil on Aaron's head ; the odor was such that it seemed to diffuse itself 
all over the congregation, and the fragrance was such that every one seemed 
to catch it. The inquiry was made : "Whose silvery voice is that?'' I be- 
lieve that eloquence which he then manifested, and which seemed to be nat- 
ural, easy, and unaffected, continued with him to the last, more or less. 2 

After a few months he was licensed to exhort and to preach, 
and labored without a break for more than forty years in the 

APPOINTMENTS: 1822, supply on cir., N. J.; 1823, (New 

York Conf.,) Kingston cir., N. Y., with J. D. Moriarty ; 1824, ditto, with 
D. Lewis; 1825, ordained deacon,— Bloomingburgh, N.Y.; 1S26-1827, (Phila. 
Conf.,) Paterson, N. J.; 1827, ordained elder; 1828-1829, Newark ; 1830-1831, 
Wilmington, Del.; 1832, Morristown, N. J.; 1833-1834, Brooklyn, with 
Thomas Burch and John Luckey — New Utrecht was included in this charge 
in 1833; 1835, New York, east circuit, with S. Cochran, J. Youngs, N. 
Bigelow, and J. Law; 1836, ditto, with S. Merwin, S. Remington, H. Brown, 
and D. Smith — this east circuit embraced all the churches east of Broadway; 
1837-1838, Newburgh, N. Y.; 1839-1840, (Phila. Conf.,) Philadelphia, Union 
cli.; 1841-1842, Phila., Trinity ch.; 1843-1844, Wilmington, Del.; 1845-1846, 
Wilmington, St. Paul's; 1847-1848, Phila., Union ch.; 1849, Phila., Nazareth 
ch.; 1850-1851, Brooklyn, Pacific-street; 1852-1853, Brooklyn, Washington- 
street ; 1854-1855, New Haven, Conn., First ch.; 1856-1857, Brooklyn, Pacific- 
street ; 1858-1859, Brooklyn, Washington-street, with S. H. Piatt, sup'y; 1860- 
1861, New Haven, Conn. First ch.; 1862, Hartford ; 1863, presiding elder, 
L. I. Dist. 

The following account of his labors in his first circuit in New 
Jersey is taken from his diary. It is a very remarkable record, 
even for those times. He says : 

In every 28 days I preached 42 sermons, walked 113 miles, and rode 152— 
making in 252 days, 369 sermons ; traveled on foot 1,017 miles, and rode 
1,368 ; total, 2,385— besides leading classes, attending Sunday-schools, visit- 
ing almshouses, etc. 

On the twenty-third anniversary of his birth, and soon after 
joining the New York Conference, he was married to Miss Jane 
Walker. While preaching in Wilmington, about 1845, he was 
invited to Schenectady to deliver an address, and at that time 
Union College conferred upon him the degree of D.D. 

Referring to the list of his appointments, the writer of his 
conference memorial says : 

2 Conference Minutes, 1864, p. 89. 

Record of Ministers. 2 8i 

The noticeable fact of this record is the number of times Dr. Kennadav was 
returned as pastor to churches that he had previously served. Of the forty 
years of his ministry twenty-two years, or more than half, was spent in five 
churches. No fact better attests his long-continued popularity, and his power 
of winning the affections of the people. 

His death was sudden and unexpected. On Tuesday even- 
ing, Nov. 10, 1863, he was in the act of delivering an exhortation 
in the chapel of the Washington-street Methodist Episcopal 
church, of Brooklyn, when he was struck with apoplexy; he 
was borne unconscious to his bed, and died the following Sat- 
urday, November 14, aged sixty-three years. Thus did the 
Lord Jesus permit his faithful servant to 

" Preach him to all, and cry in death, 
' Behold, behold the Lamb ! ' " 

Bishop Janes preached his funeral sermon, a sketch of which 
was published in the Brooklyn Eagle. Heman Bangs and 
others took part in the services. The remains were deposited 
in " Greenwood." 

Dr. Kennaday's career is a marked " illustration of the beauty 
and glory of a life devoted to the pastorate." He was a model 
pastor. " To preach Christ and to watch over Christ's flock 
seemed his highest joy." Bishop Janes penned the following 
beautiful tribute soon after the death of bis friend: 

As a Christian pastor, Dr. Kennaday was eminent in his gifts, in his at- 
tainments, and in his devotion to his sacred calling, and in the seals God 
gave to his ministry. In the pulpit he was clear in the statement of his sub- 
ject, abundant and most felicitous in his illustrations, and pathetic and im- 
pressive in his applications. His oratory was of a high order. His presence, 
his voice, his fluency of speech, his graceful action, his fine imagination, and 
his fervent feelings, rendered his elocution effective and powerful, and gave 
to his preaching great attractiveness and popularity. 

Out of the pulpit the ease and elegance of his manners, the vivacity and 
sprightliness of his conversational powers, the tenderness of his sympathy, and 
the kindness of his conduct toward the afflicted and needy, and his affection- 
ate notice of and efforts for the childhood and youth of his congregation, made 
him the greatly endeared and beloved pastor. 

The Rev. A. Manship describes the flocking together of his 
numerous friends to hear him preach the dedicatory sermon in 
the Hedding church, in Philadelphia, and then adds : 

He has labored much within the bounds of the Philadelphia Conference, 
and is deservedly a popular minister, and his popularity among us has never 
Waned. Several of our best church edifices have been reared through his in- 

282 Old Sands Street Church. 

strumentality. He has assisted in relieving many from pecuniary embarrass- 
ment within our bounds. He is abundant in labors, perfectly at home in the 
work of revival. Who ever witnessed his management of a protracted meet- 
ing or a camp-meeting, and could not well say, he is a good tactician ? He 
has the happy art of interesting the children. 3 

A book of exercises, adapted for use in Sunday-school con- 
certs and exhibitions — one of the earliest and best of its kind — 
was compiled by Dr. Kennaday. 

It was the author's privilege on one occasion, at a camp- 
meeting in Milford, Conn., in 1861, to listen to Dr. Kennaday's 
moving appeals to the unconverted. Many penitents knelt in 
front of the stand after the sermon, and it was a delight to see 
how eagerly and thankfully they listened to his affectionate 
and helpful words, as, with wonderful adaptation to each, he 
directed their faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Jane (Walker,) widow of the Rev. Dr. Kennaday, lingered 
among us in patient, happy hope of heaven, until September 13, 
1884, when she died, in her eighty-second year, at the residence 
of Mrs. Joshua Brooks, in Highland, N. Y., where she had spent 
the summer. Her memorial says : 

She was born in New York city, March 27, 1803. and early became a mem- 
ber of John-street Methodist Episcopal church. * * * She was a-person of 
great gentleness, which, combined with a most exemplary Christian character, 
made her beloved by all. * * * Her health gradually failed until she sank 
peacefully to rest, with her family, except one daughter, around her bedside. 4 

The Rev E. L. Allen, pastor of the Highland Methodist 
Episcopal church, preached her funeral sermon. The remains 
were interred in Greenwood cemetery. The author visited Mrs. 
Kennaday, in New York city, about a year before her death. 
She talked beautifully and affectionately of her husband, of his 
life and death, and the near prospect of a happy re-union. 

Children : John R., a lawyer, was four years a member of the 
N. Y Legislature — two years as senator; died in 1884, soon 
after the death of his mother ; James If. resides in Rochester, 
N. Y ; Catherine died January 17, 1884; Jane W married Win. 
G. Stille; Maria B. (Mrs. John Sawyer) died about 1864; La- 
vinia R. died in infancy ; Helen Cornelia j Caroline Virginia. 

3 "Thirteen Years in the Ministry," page 334. 

4 J. R., in The Christian Advocate. 



he subject of this sketch, the Rev. John Luckey, 
was brother to Samuel Luckey, who preceded him 
by a few years as pastor of Sands-street church. 
The Luckey family originated in Scotland; thence, it is said, 
in a time of religious persecution, they fled to the north of 
Ireland, where they held a very respectable social position. 
Three brothers emigrated to this conntry, and after a time 
they separated, one going west, another south, and one set- 
tled near New Hamburgh, N. Y., where the old homestead 
of "Squire Luckey" may still be seen. Joseph Luckey, Sen., 
the father of the two Methodist preachers, was a farmer. He 
died at his home in Auburn, N.Y., in 1833. His wife was from 
Holland. The old family record says of her: "Lanah Wag- 
ner, born July 6, 1763, married 1787, died suddenly August 
6, 1816." She was a devout Christian, and her children al- 
ways spoke of her with loving reverence. 

John Luckey was born March 13, 1800. 1 He gave his heart 
to God before he was nine years of age. 2 His widow writes: 

He left home when a mere boy, lived with his brother Samuel, went to school, 
and became a teacher. The love of the brothers for each other was like the 
love of David and Jonathan to the end of their lives. 

1 Presumably in Rensselaerville, N. Y., the birthplace of his brother Samuel. 

2 I. J. T. Lumbeck — memoir in "The Christian Advocate." 


284 Old Sands Street Church. 

PASTORAL RECORD : 1820, supply, Delaware cir., N. Y., with John 
Finnegan and James Quinlan ; 1821, (New York Conf.,) Durham cir., Conn., 
with Josiah Bowen ; 1822, Burlington cir., with C. Silliman ; 1823, ordained 
deacon, — Wethersfield cir., with E. Barnett ; 1824, missionary to the west end 
of Long Island ; 1825, ordained elder, — New Haven and Hamden, with H. 
Bangs; 1826, sup'y, Stratford cir., with S. D. Ferguson and Valentine Buck ; 
1827, Hampshire mission in the Rhinebeck Dist., N. Y. ; 1828, Hampshire 
cir., with Hiram White; 1829-1830, Southold cir.; 183T, Saratoga cir., with 
W. Anson, sup'y, J- D. Moriarty, sup'y, D. Ensign, sup'y, and T. Newman ; 
1832, New Utrecht ; 1833, Brooklyn and New Utrecht, with T. Burch and 
J. Kennaday ; 1834, Brooklyn, with T. Burch and J. Kennaday ; 1835, 
Harlem mission; 1836, ditto, with D. De Vinne; 1837-1838, Goshen, Conn. ; 
1839-1846, chaplain, Sing Sing prison, N. Y ; 1847- 1848, New Castle and 
Pinesbridge ; 1849-1850, Pleasantville ; 1851-1852, New York, Five Points 
mission ; 1853, White Plains ; 1854, Fishkill, west ; 1856-1865, chaplain, 
Sing Sing prison ; 1866, sup'y ; 1867-1875, sup'd, Rolla, Phelps County, Mo. 

He organized the Flushing circuit in 1824. On the 18th of 
May, 1829, he was married, by Bishop Hedding, to Miss Dinah 
Rutherford, of the Sands-street church. He repaired with 
his young wife to his appointment, the Southold circuit, on the 
east end of Long Island. More than fifty years afterward Mrs. 
Luckey furnished the author with interesting reminiscences of 
their experience on that circuit. 

As the foregoing record shows, Mr. Luckey spent more than 
twenty years in ministering to the poor people of the city and 
the criminals of the prison. C. C. North, Esq., who was Sun- 
day-school superintendent and class-leader at the Five Points 
mission when Luckey entered upon his work there, writes as 
follows : 

The first Sabbath of Mr. Luckey's pastorate was memorable. The society 
still occupied the old saloon, corner of Cross and Little Water streets. Serv- 
ices and Sunday-school had been held in this room for one year, with tem- 
perance meetings on Wednesday nights. Class-meetings on Thursday nights 
were held in an adjoining dingy old room, where the writer dealt out for one 
year to hungry souls the bread of life. 

Sifting from the doubtful company twelve who, amid surrounding tempta T 
tions of debauchery, had stood with heroic fidelity and proved that they were, 
indeed, disciples of the Lord Jesus, they were presented to Mr. Luckey as the 
foundation of the church which he came to establish. Qn the morning of 
May 18, 185 1, these twelve knelt at the altar, Mr. Luckey and the writer 
within, while the noble ladies of the society, with deep solicitude, saw the 
twelve received on probation, and then joined them in the Lord's Supper. 
Under Mr. Luckey's administration the work prospered in all departments, 
until the capacious mission buildings were erected. It could not do other- 
wise. His fine sense, his industry, his integrity, his humor, his patience, and 

Record of Ministers. 285 

his transparent piety were guarantees of success. I loved to see him in his 
work. He was charity personified as he stood with bread and garments for 
the poor and words of counsel for the erring. The Five Points mission was 
and is a colossal work, and he was the colossal figure in it. The dignity of 
his person and the integrity of his character drew to the mission the support 
of many of the best men and women of all the churches. 3 

From personal knowledge the same writer gives the following 
glowing account of Mr. Luckey in the peculiar work of the pris- 
oners' chaplain, which occupied a very large share of his min- 
isterial life : 

In 1855 he was called to the chaplaincy of the Sing Sing prison. This was 
his second appointment. His first, including the years from 1839 to 1846, 
was so eminently successful that many distinguished men of both parties were 
deeply interested ,in his renewed service. In 1861 the writer moved to the 
neighborhood of Sing Sing, and was at once sought out by Mr. Luckey to as- 
sist him in his Sunday services among the prisoners. During five years the 
custom was for me to address the prisoners once a month. The frequency of 
these visits gave me a thorough acquaintance with his personal traits and his 
successful administration. During that whole period I never heard an unkind 
word said against him from inspectors, wardens, keepers, or even prisoners, 
except from those who feared his incorruptibility. I called at each of the 
1,000 or 1,200 cells, and conversed with every prisoner. In these conversa- 
tions Mr. Luckey's name was generally if not always introduced, and the sen- 
timent was unanimous that his character for piety, probity, and unselfish de- 
votion to his work was without a flaw. The convicts might berate the in- 
spectors, wardens, and keepers, but the name of Luckey closed at once the 
lips of derision and scorn. With the tenderness of woman he would listen on 
the one hand to the sad stories of the convicts, and on the other penetrate 
with rare sagacity the schemes of corrupt men. He was loved by the worthy 
and sincere, while the false dreaded no man more than him whom they were 
wont to call " old Luckey." When he discovered in a young man the promise 
of a better life, with what tenacity did he follow the case, not only through 
prison-life, but also into the great outside world, until the young man was re- 
stored to the family and society from which he had fallen ! No one on earth 
can know how numerous were his visits to the wives and children and parents 
of the convicts, nor how* countless were the little benefactions he conferred on 
the families and friends of those unhappy men. 

The last ten years of his life were spent on a farm near Rolla, 
Mo. His pastor says : 

He donated to the church six acres of land and a small house, which, re- 
paired, became " Luckey's Chapel." He preached once a month and worked 
in the Sunday-school till his health utterly failed. His last public discourse 
was to the children of this little school, and it was very affecting. 4 

3 The Christian Advocate, May 9, 1876. 

4 I. J. K. Limbeck in The Christian Advocate. 

286 Old Sands Street Church. 

His old-time friend, C. C. North, visited him in his Western 
home. He tells the story thus : 

Business called me a few years since to St. Louis. On Saturday the inquiry 
arose in my mind where I should spend the Sabbath. Rolla and the Luckeys 
flashed on my mind. Taking an afternoon train a ride of eighty miles brought 
me at midnight to Rolla. I learned at the hotel that my friend lived four 
miles away. Curbing my impatience, I remained till early morning, and 
then, mounting a horse, rode out to their home in the woods. It seemed a 
long and devious way, my road winding around " settlements," until, perched 
upon a side hill and flanked by a forest, was the picturesque, yet plain and 
unadorned home of the Luckeys. They had spied a stranger emerging from 
the woods, had seen him fasten his horse and enter the gate, and then came 
the recognition, followed by a scene which the reader will not expect me to 
describe. I found that religion in the new relations was just as marked and 
prominent as at former periods of Mr. Luckey's history. His home that 
Sabbath was the gathering-place for Christian worship. The neighbors 
looked upon him as a patriarch to whom they might come for counsel, sym- 
pathy, and help. 

I was the only one of his eastern friends who had visited him. My pres- 
ence, therefore, that day was a comfort to him, while the visit was to me a 
feast. Amid an apparent serenity the presence of one from the East renewed 
the yearnings he felt for his old friends. The shades of evening drew on, and 
I and my beloved friends waved the last farewell as the family group, cottage, 
and hill-side faded from sight. 

He was exceedingly affable, child-like, perfectly unostenta- 
tious, counseling with the youngest preachers as with equals, 
notwithstanding he was " the associate and peer of the ablest 
men of the church." The weak, suffering, and penitent always 
found in him a friend. His piety burned the brighter as the 
lamp of life grew dim. He delighted in hearing the gospel 
proclaimed, and had preaching in his room when he could not 
go to the chapel. He never missed his family worship until the 
morning of his death. When it became necessary for him to 
move into town, where he might be near a physician, he would 
not leave his farm until he had arranged for a tenant who 
would care for his little church. This done, he expressed him- 
self as fully satisfied and ready to meet his God. 

On the morning of the ioth of January, after he had 
moved into town, he arose as usual, with no premonitions that 
death was at the door. Mrs. Luckey describes the closing 
scene : 

He sat in a rocking-chair at the table, eating his breakfast. He indulged 
in a little pleasantry, just like himself, but I observed that he leaned over on 

Record of Ministers. 287 

his left side. Eliza and I succeeded in getting him into the bed ; his eyes 
closed, he lay like one in a deep sleep, and in a few hours " he was not, for 
God took him." 5 

Funeral services were held in the Methodist Episcopal 
church in Rolla, Mo., and in Sing Sing, N. Y. In Dale ceme- 
tery, in Sing Sing, is a head-stone suitably inscribed, which 
marks the resting-place of John Luckey. 

His widow resides in Haverstraw, N. Y., with their only sur- 
viving child, Helen Eliza. Two children, Mary and John, died 
while Mr. Luckey was stationed in Brooklyn, and their graves 
are in the Sands-street church-yard. Two others, Samuel and 
Emma, are at rest by the grave of their father ; and another, 
Isabella, is buried in Newcastle, Westchester County, N. Y. 

Mrs. Luckey is a daughter of Christopher Rutherford, an 
honored local preacher of the Sands-street church. 6 Her letters 
to the author contain evidence of rare talent and culture, and 
a character worthy of fellowship with her noble husband both 
in labor and reward. 

'Letter to the Rev. Elbert Osborn. 

8 For an extended account of the Rutherfords, see Book III. 


he Rev. Bartholomew Creagh was born in Dub- 
lin, August 23, 1804. His ancestors on his father's 
side were Scotch-Irish, while his mother's family 
were of English extraction and of high social position. His 
maternal grandfather, John Hawkins, of Dublin, was an em- 
inent barrister. His father was a gentleman of culture and 
ability, but it was to his mother, a refined, accomplished lady, 
that he owed his religious training. Mrs. Creagh felt that up- 
on her devolved the responsibility of moulding the religious 
character of her children. Although a member of the Episco- 
pal Church, she became deeply interested in meetings held un- 
der the auspices of the Methodists. About this time her old- 
est son, Bartholomew, who had already been baptized and 
confirmed, became deeply exercised upon the subject of relig- 
ion. To his mother's great joy, at one of these meetings he 
dedicated himself to God's service, and there never was a more 
entire consecration. The habitual tendency of his soul was 
toward the object of its supreme love; he seemed to watch for 
opportunities for communion with God, and testifies in his 
diary to the blessedness of his intercourse with his "soul's Be- 
loved", and this habit followed him through life. He was em- 
inently a man of prayer, a firm believer in the immediateness 
of Divine help in daily duty He entered upon this life of 
faith when sixteen years of age. 

Born in a home of luxury, with expectation of handsome 
inheritance, he had intended to follow a legal profession; but 
God's thought for him was of higher things. These plans 
were relinquished that he might preach the gospel, and ev- 

1 This elegancy written ir.cmcrial i:: frcm the pen cl his daughter, Miss Fi- 

: I;a M. Creagh, cf Lrochlyn, I.", Y 

Record 9f Ministers. 289 

ery energy was devoted to preparation for the work of his 
choice. He was richly endowed by nature and by grace, and 
these gifts were supplemented by a classical education. He 
was a fine linguist, reading Greek, Hebrew, and Latin with ease, 
and was also conversant with some of the modern languages. 2 
He was, perhaps, most remarkable for the beauty and purity of 
his English. One of the most eminent instructors of the age 
said of him : " His language was perfect, so simple that a child 
might understand, and always critically correct." 

Unexpected loss of fortune induced his family to seek pros- 
perity in the New World. He accompanied his father to New 
York at the age of eighteen years. He began to preach in 1826 
at Flushing, L. I. This event is noted in his diary : 

A few days since I left my pleasant home, and a large circle of friends, 
whose society had been a joy to me, but it was under firm conviction that 
necessity was laid upon me to preach the gospel. 3 

This entrance upon the work of the ministry was not a cause 
of small import. This, the struggles of his heart as expressed 
in his diary, amply testify. He says : 

I am led to think if I could always preach with satisfaction to myself, I 
should in some measure forget that my help cnmeth from the Lord. I con- 
tinually cry, "Who is sufficient for these things?" 

Again he writes : 

Lo ! I see another year. With what propriety can I adopt the words of 
the venerable Jacob, " Few and evil have the days of the years of my 
life been." I am greatly humiliated with a sense of my imperfections, 
and would ever cry, Lord pardon what I have been, and order what I 
shall be. If I know myself, I more ardently long for inward purity than 
fullness of joy. 

2 [His children say that he was educated in Dublin. The statement in 
M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopedia that he studied Greek and Latin in Bel- 
fast is an error. — E. W.J 

3 [Thus began a ministerial career of more than twenty-five years, of which 
a comprehensive view is furnished in the following record of successive 

APPOINTMENTS : 1826, Flushing cir., N. Y., a supply, with Richard 
Seaman and O. V. Amerman ; 1 827-1 828, (New York Conf.,) Hempstead 
cir., with D. De Vinne and D. Holmes ; 1828, ditto, with N. W. Thomas 
and D. I. Wright ; 1829, ordained deacon ; 1829-1830, Plattsburgh ; 1831, 
ordained elder; i83i-i832,Rhinebeck; 1833-1834, Middletown, Conn. ; 1835- 
1836, Brooklyn, Sands-street; T837-1838, New York, Vestry-street; 
1839-1840, Rhinebeck ; 1841-1842, Red Hook mission ; 1843-1846, presiding 
elder, Hartford Dist., Conn. ; 1847-1848, (the latter year, New York East 
Conf.,) New York, Allen-street; 1849-1850, New York, Seventh-street; 
1851-1852, Williamsburgh, South Fifth-street.— E. W.j 

2 9° Old Sands Street Church. 

Modest and tender, gentle and strong, compassionate to the 
weak, he was most severe with himself, for self was continually 
arraigned before the stern bar of his own tender conscience. 
He seemed clothed with humility as with a garment, and it was 
of no scanty pattern. While those who knew him best were 
rejoicing in the light which his consistent life threw upon the 
pathway to the skies, he was often in secret places, deploring as 
in dust and ashes his own short-comings, and pleading the merits 
of Jesus, as his only hope. 

In the pulpit he was a fervid, impassioned speaker. 4 Preach- 
ing was not an opportunity for the display of natural gifts, but 
rather the outpouring of a full heart, that sought to free itself 
from solemn responsibility. He seemed literally to persuade 
men, and under his soul-stirring appeals many dead hearts were 
touched, and blind eyes opened to the beauty of holiness. It 
was not strange that one who so continually communed with 
his "soul's Beloved," the one "altogether lovely," should have 
many seals to his ministry. An extract from a memorial sermon 
by that eminent man of God, the Rev. Nathaniel S. Prime, D.D., 
of the Presbyterian Church, will be appropriate. He says: 

It is not my intention to pronounce a eulogy upon the great man whom God 
has taken from our midst ; but I cannot withhold the spontaneous tribute of 
my heart, and I predicate my right upon the fact that when such a man as 
Bartholomew Creagh is removed from a community, it is a greater loss to 
the public than to his own particular church. During the past year it has 
been my privilege to hear him oftener than any other clergyman, and always 
with intense interest and profit. His sermons gave evidence of careful prep- 
aration and deep thought, and were delivered with a pathos that could only 
be obtained in the closet. From the first time I heard him proclaim the 
gospel of our common Master, I understood more fully than ever before the 
force of that simple record, " It came to pass when he had made an end of 
speaking, that the soul of Jonathan was knit unto the soul of David, and 
Jonathan loved him as his own soul." Being his near neighbor, my privilege 
of social intercourse was considerable, sufficient to show me that he was 
every-where the same warm-hearted, consistent, catholic Christian. To ex- 
press in a few words my estimate of his character, I would say that to a vig- 

4 [Daniel De Vinne, a fellow-countryman of Mr. Creagh, said in his Semi- 
centennial Sermon: " Brother Creagh had been fitted for Trinity College, 
Dublin. He was naturally eloquent, while his piety, earnestness, and whole- 
heartedness gave a peculiar force and beauty to his enunciation. I have 
h«ard John Summerfield in his best days, but would as soon have heard Bar- 
tholomew Creagh." Bishop Davis W. Clark says, in Spragne's Annals: " As 
a preacher he was always interesting and impressive. * * * He was extremely 
tender and earnest in his appeals; indeed he was sometimes overwhelmingly 
eloquent."— E. W.J 

Record of Ministers. 291 

orous, discriminating intellect, and a heart transfused with love to God and 
man, there was added a clearness of perception and an originality of thought, 
expressed in chaste and beautiful language, that is rarely equaled. 

In private life he was courteous and genial ; he had always 
the right word at the right time, and it was given to young or 
old, high or low, as the case might be, with a simple courtesy 
that won all hearts. 5 To intimate friends he revealed much of 
that humor which is the heritage of his countrymen ; still, this 
was guarded with a watchful eye, and he was careful that the 
last impression should be a serious one. 

He was an ardent lover of Nature ; all fair forms and beautiful 
colors were a joy to him, and he always ascended into spiritual 
meanings. The cultivation of flowers was a favorite recreation, 
and he found keen enjoyment in music, sometimes resting 
himself with his flute. A letter from Boston to his little 
daughter illustrates these tastes. He says: 

I have seen many interesting things, about which my little dame and I 
will have nice talks on my return. Are you careful to feed the birds? These 
little creatures are not more dependent upon our thought, than we are upon 
our heavenly Father's care. Do not forget to water the flowers ; they will 
amply repay you in sweetness and beauty. I know you will not neglect 
your books ; but, more than all, seek the wisdom that is more precious 
than rubies. A long letter from my little girl will rejoice the heart of 
her loving father. 

His valued friend, Miss Garrettson, thus speaks of him : 

His visits were always occasions of deep interest, and hailed with delight 
by all the household. I recall, with peculiar pleasure, a time when he was 
about to leave Wildercliffe, but was delayed by a severe storm. After tea, he 
read to Mrs. Olin and myself, Mrs. Browning's drama of " Exile." Absorbed 
in the theme, he swept us along, by the alternation of strong feeling and 
tender pathos. As he ceased the old clock in the hall rang out the midnight 
hour. He exclaimed, " Is it possible ! " and retired. Mrs. Olin turned to me 
with radiant face, and said, " Well, cousin Mary, I never really heard it 
before ! " 

One great element of power was his strong personal influence. 
This was largely the result of devotedness to God. A few 

5 [Bishop Clark says: "Nowhere, perhaps, did his fine qualities display 
themselves more beautifully than in the house of mourning, and at the bedside 
of the sick and dying. He seemed to know intuitively how to adapt the con- 
solations of the gospel to each particular case." See Sprague's Annals. 
E. W.] V V 


2 g 2 Old Sands Street Church. 

words from his diary will indicate the cast of his thought. He 

says : 

My people love me too much, receive me with too much pleasure ; it is 
sweet to the human heart. Lord, save me from undue regard to men. I have 
been under a cloud, but, thanks be to God, such an outpouring of glory ! 
Bless the Lord ! my help alone cometh from him. 

A gay man of the world, not reverent toward holy things, once 
said to a relative, in whose house he was a frequent guest : " No 
one could be with Mr. Creagh without wishing to be good, and I 
do not believe any one could think of wrong in his presence." 

His exceeding modesty forbade his being prominent in debate, 
but when he departed from his usual custom, his opinions were 
received with marked attention. Liberal toward all Christians, he 
was loyal to his own church. Thrice in the course of his ministry 
he was solicited to enter another denomination, but it was no 
temptation to his steadfast soul. In 1848 he led the New York 
delegation to the General Conference, in Pittsburgh, and again in 
Boston in 1852. About this time he preached a sermon on 
Christian perfection, which so impressed the lamented Dr. Horace 
Bushnell, who was one of his hearers, that he sought an introduc- 
tion, which resulted in a correspondence that promised mutual 
pleasure, but was soon ended by the death of Mr. Creagh. 

Upon leaving New York, in 1 851, he became pastor of the 
South Fifth-street (now St. John's) church. Brooklyn. He en- 
tered upon his work with accustomed zeal, and proved himself 
to be " a workman that needed not to be ashamed." In the 
spring of 1852 the death of Bishop Hedding, whom he loved as 
a father, deeply affected him. He preached, by request, a 
memorial sermon in New York. So great was the effect upon 
his sensitive nature, that for days he suffered extreme nervous 
prostration. In May he attended the General Conference, after 
which he returned to pastoral duties with not quite his usual 
strength. Specially endearing were the relations of pastor and 
people, which resulted in frequent claims upon his time and 
sympathy outside his own church. These were rarely disre- 
garded, for he counted not his life dear unto himself. On the 
first of August, with peculiar significance, he preached from the 
•words, " Though I walk through the valley," etc. Little thought 
he that its chill shadows were even then fast closing around 
him. The next day he lay pale and feeble upon a bed of lan- 
guishing, and after ten days of extreme prostration his pure 

Record of Ministers. 293 

spirit escaped its frail prison house to be "forever with the 
Lord." 6 Once he was heard to murmur, "My wife and chil- 
dren; my dear people! " but for the most part they were days 
of exceeding quiet, his spirit was still before God. Fully con- 
scious that the time of his departure was at hand, with great 
tenderness he bade farewell to his loved ones, not forgetting a 
valued servant, saying, as she turned sobbing away, " Poor Bes- 
sie, a stranger in a strange land." He sent messages of love to 
the different churches of his care, South Fifth-street, Seventh- 
street, Allen-street. Vestry-street, and Sands-street. He said : 
" That blessed Jesus, whose gospel I have endeavored to preach, 
does not forsake me now; he is my all-sufficient Saviour; he is 
intimately nigh." His countenance shone with heavenly ra- 
diance, as again and again he cried, " Victory ! Victory ! through 
the blood of the Lamb. Glory ! all is glory ! " Faith seemed 
to o'erleap the confines of dim sense, and view the angel of 
release, as with beckoning motion he said, " Come quickly, haste, 
haste ! " To those who knew his devoted life there was fitness 
in the rapturous triumph of his farewell to the earth. As nat- 
urally as a liberated bird seeks its native air, his pure spirit swept 
up exultingly into the glorious unfoldings of infinite love. 

According to man's measure, brief was his career, but rarely 
have forty-eight years been more richly endowed with earnest 
labor and sublime faith. Lovely in private life, untiring in duty, 
devoted in holiness, triumphant in death. 7 

Some of the most useful lives are those of which the world 
hears little, whose fragrance is no less pervasive because with- 
drawn from noisy comment. This thought was suggested by 

8 [The date of his death is August 10, 1852. Clark, in Sprague's Annals, 
says : " When death was approaching, after he had been apparently engaged 
in silent prayer for some minutes, he cried out, "O for an honest view ! O 
for an honest view ! I trust I have taken it ! " Then looking round upon his 
friends, he said, ' Dig deep, dig deep! lay a good foundation !' He asked 
those present to sing ' Rock of Ages,' and after the singing he exclaimed, ' Yes, 
cleft for me."'— E. W ] 

7 [J. B. Wakeley mentions Bartholomew Creagh as a "son of consolation, 
one of the sweetest spirits that ever tabernacled in clay tenement." He de» 
scribes his person as neither corpulent nor slender, of light complexion, blue 
eyes, and head of great classic beauty. He says, furthermore, " I was a bearer 
at his funeral, and 1 could but feel that seldom had the church on earth lost a 
brighter ornament." See Sprague's Annals. — E. W.] 

2 Q4 Old Sands Street Church. 

the life of Eliza A. Welling, who was born in New York, 
January 30, 1800. Her ancestors on one side were English, and 
Anglo-French on the other. Her father, William Welling, was 
an attendant of St. Paul's Episcopal church, but was attracted 
by the fervor of the services in John-street Methodist church, 
where, among the sweet singers in Israel, was Miss Hester Le 
Page, who afterward became his wife. Eliza Welling was the 
third child by this marriage. 

She entered upon a Christian life when sixteen years of age, 
and gave to her Master no half-hearted allegiance. Possessed of a 
voice of singular sweetness, from that time it was employed only 
in singing the praises of her King. Her education was more 
thorough than was usual at that period, gained partly at Mr. 
Parker's school, in New York, (where, among her friends was 
Theodosia Burr, whose sad fate she always deplored,) and then 
completed in Baltimore, when she became an inmate of the 
household of her uncle, that eminent servant of God, Dr. George 

Skilled in domestic arts, she also took delight in the more 
active ministries of life, was engaged in home mission work, and 
a teacher and superintendent in the Allen-street Sunday-school, 
to which, years later, she returned as a pastor's wife. 

In 1829 she was married to Rev. B. Creagh, and cheerfully 
accepted the sacrifices incident to the position. Years of sweet 
companionship and tender association followed, shadowed by 
the death of her first-born son. Never in rugged health, the 
full measure of her strength was given to the ways of her house- 
hold, which was a home for the Lord's people, where many a 
one rested from the stress of life, as in the "palace beautiful." 
In four brief years a devoted husband, a son in the dawn of 
manhood, a father and mother, were taken from her home. Mrs. 
Creagh bore these keen afflictions with patient acquiescence, 
and abiding confidence in Him "whose compassions fail not." 

Naturally shy and fond of quiet places, she now more than 
ever shunned publicity, and found content in the care of her 
two younger children, whom she sought to impress by word and 
life with the inestimable value of spiritual things. 8 

She was thoughtful, but never melancholy; extremely reserved, 

8 [The names of the children here referred to are Anthony H. and Fidelia 
M. Creagh, highly esteemed members of St. John's Methodist Episcopal 
church, Brooklyn, N. Y.— E. W.] 

Record of Ministers. 295 

and therefore often misunderstood, revealing the depth of her 
nature only to the few who came into intimate nearness. Love 
of truth and simplicity were among her distinguishing charac- 
teristics; nothing was ever done for effect, and perhaps conven- 
tionality sometimes paled before this necessity of her nature. 

More than three-score years and ten had passed in quiet use- 
fulness ; peace and serenity were the seal of what had been. 
Eyes sharpened by intense solicitude saw that natural powers 
were declining, but knew that, like the King's daughter, she was 
" all glorious within." 

It sometimes seemed as if she lived between two worlds and 
held acquaintance with the skies. Frequently, when a soft, low 
utterance escaped her, in reply to her daughter's question, if 
she wished any thing, would come the answer, "No, dear, I was 
only speaking to my best Friend." Nothing in her life so well 
became her as the leaving it. The last day of health was spent 
as usual in useful occupation, and then suddenly, peacefully 
she took " the grand step beyond the stars " into limitless life 
and love. 

" Their works do follow them," and in the home consecrated 
by her presence, her gentleness and serenity are a power and 
inspiration, and the loved voice still speaks from that other 


ands-street Church enjoyed the services of the 
Rev. William Henry Norris during two full 
ministerial terms; also, as presiding elder five 
years. He was identified with some of the most important 
events connected with the history of that church. 

Mr. Norris was born in Orono. Maine, Oct. 28, 1801. His 
parents were orthodox, thrifty, intelligent people, and they 
"trained him in habits of filial piety." With them he came 
to the city of New York when fifteen years of age. At six. 
teen he was converted, and joined the Duane-street Method- 
ist Episcopal Church. He heard a divine call, and abandoned 
fine lucrative mercantile prospects to enter the itinerancy, 
at the age of twenty-four. The following is his 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1825, (New York Conf.,) Pittstown dr., 
N. Y., six months with J. C. Green and N. Rice; — last part of the year, Sara- 
toga dr., with B. Crfffin, W. P Lake and W Anson, sup'y; 1 1826, (Maine 
Conf .,) Belfast, Me. ; 1827-1828, Bath, — ordained deacon in 1827; 1829, or- 
dained elder, — Portland cir. , with S. Lovelle; 1830, ditto, with J. Horton; 1831 
-1832, Hallowell; 1833, presiding elder, Portland Dist. , 1834, Portland circuit, 
with E. Wiley; 1835-1836, Bangor; 1837-1838, (New York Conf.,) Brook- 
lyn, Sands-street, 1839-1841, missionary to Montevidio, S. A.; 1842, 
New York, Vestry-st. ; 1842-1846, miss'y to Buenos Ayres; 1847. agent of the 
American Bible Society in Mexico; 1848-1849, Brooklyn, Sands-street; 
1850-1851, New Haven, Conn., First church; 1852-1853, presiding elder, New 
Haven Dist.; 1854-1855, New York, Forsyth-street ; 1856-1858, P E., New 
York Dist. ; 1859-1862, presiding elder, Long Island Dist.; 1863, appointed 
agent American Bible Society, Panama and Central America, but prevented by 
sickness from filling the appointment; 2 1864, appointed missionary to South 
America, but change of plan by missionary board interfered with his going; 3 
1865, missionary presiding elder, Nashville, Tenn. ; 1866, sup'y; 1867-1868, 
Durham, Conn.; 1869-1878, sup'y, 4 residing in Hempstead, N. Y. 

1 Conference Minutes do not mention his appointment to Saratoga, but see 
"Trial of J. C. Green vs. J. Pierce," p. 10. 

2 Mrs. Norris, — Letter to the author. 3 Ibid. 

4 His relation was not superannuated, as stated in his confer&ice memorial, 
and he received no appropriation as a conference claimant. 



Record of Ministers. 297 

He was married in 1831 to Miss Sarah Mahan. The Maine 
Conference elected him to a seat in the General Conference in 
1832 and in 1836. His return for a second term to three im- 
portant appointments, namely, Portland, Bangor, and Sands- 
street, Brooklyn, indicates the high esteem in which he was held 
by the churches he was called to serve. 

It is said that his early labors in Maine were marked by a 
continuous revival. He found 432 members and probationers 
in the Sands-street church, and two years later reported 667. 
A most wonderful revival crowned his unceasing, earnest labors 
there, and there are living witnesses of his glowing zeal and his 
manifest agony for souls, as he preached and prayed, and some- 
times stood leaning against the pillars of the church weeping 
aloud for the perishing around him. He labored indefatigably 
during his second term in this charge, and under his leadership 
the church recovered from the loss of its buildings by fire, and 
rebuilt 'the church and parsonage. His labors in the First 
ehurch, New Haven, were characterized by the same fervent 
spirit, and attended with singular success. 

He always appeared to have a painful sense of the high de- 
mands of the ministerial calling, and of his own insufficiency to 
meet the claims of God and the church upon him, yet, when 
assigned to any work, he always went cheerfully, and the church 
never had a more obedient servant. Personal considerations 
weighed nothing in his mind, when he heard the voice of the 
church, which was to him always the voice of God. One of his 
brethren writes : 

The measure of the man may be best taken by reflecting on the estimate 
which the church itself made of him, and which may be seen in the varied 
and often delicate missions With which he was charged. He was a safe man, 
and one in whom the largest trusts could be reposed, and also one whose clear 
sense of right and ready ability of placing any matter of controversy in the sim- 
plest relations, made him at all times sought after for these valuable qualities. 

As a preacher, the same conscientious painstaking was always apparent. 
Methodical, logical, and scrupulously conscientious, his sermons were models 
of exactness and forcible conclusions, His chief excellence, perhaps, lay in 
the pastorate. Indeed, it often seemed to us that if a man was ever called to 
a special work, Mr. Norris was called to this. Systematically dividing his 
time and his parish, he would go from house to house, mingling with his peo- 
ple, carrying their sorrows, advising in their perplexities, and especially sym- 
pathizing with the poor and 'fatherless ; going as a man of God, and going 
with both hands and heart open to minister to whatever necessities might 
crave his sympathy. 

298 Old Sands Street Church. 

Equally conscientious in his benevolence, his habit of giving was as exact 
as his habit of prayer. Whatever income he had was measured into its appro- 
priate parts, and out of it must come the proper proportion which belonged to 
God. The best epitome of his character is that which the Scriptures 
give of the centurion, Cornelius. He was "a devout man, one that feared 
God with all his house, and gave much alms to the people, and^ prayed to 
God always." 5 

To some observers there was in him an appearance of stern- 
ness, on account of his extreme conscientiousness and strict 
sense of justice. Dr. Curry, in a memorial address, ascribed to 
him a severe purity, which caused a man of ordinary integrity, 
when thrown in contact with him, to question whether his own 
heart was right. 

The author of his conference memorial says : 

His extended travels and long association with the best societies of different 
countries, and his extensive reading upon subjects connected with his work, 
made him eminently capable of advice in times of grave inquiry. In the pros- 
ecution of his mission in South America, although chiefly directed to the En- 
glish-speaking population of the cities where he labored, he gave himself to a 
diligent study of the Spanish language, that he might reach the natives through 
their vernacular ; and also closely observed their manners and customs, and 
afterward became a valuable contributor to a published history of that inter- 
esting portion of our southern continent. And when the American Bible 
Society contemplated establishing an agency in Spain, Mr. Norris was selected 
for that work. 

He was the author of two biographical works — abridgements 
— namely, a "Life of George Whitefield," and a "Life of 
Thomas Coke." ° 

The appearance of Mr. Norris was rather striking. His hair 
was long and dark, his eyes and complexion dark also, and there 
was upon his face what seemed to be a scar. Though he was 
of a strong constitution, he suffered much during a large part of 
his life, the result of an attack of acute bronchitis, brought on 
by exposure during his early ministry in Maine. In Tennessee 
a miasmatic fever was developed, from which he never entirely 

A dark shadow enveloped him some two years previous to 
his death — the eclipse of his intellectual powers, accompanied 

5 Rev. Dr. Francis Bottome, in The Christian Advocate. 

6 Copies of these books are in the library of the Philadelphia Conference 
Historical Society. 

Record of Ministers. 299 

by physical decay. His memorial says that, as the closing hours 
drew near, " this curtain of night was lifted for a moment, that 
he might recognize and smile upon the dear ones who watched 
for his departure, and then he was at rest." 

So died this faithful servant of the church, on the 19th of 
October, 1878, having nearly completed the seventy-seventh year 
of his pilgrimage. His burial-place, in Greenfield cemetery, 
Hempstead, is marked by a granite monument. 

His widow resides in Hempstead, Long Island, with a mar- 
ried daughter. The two surviving sons are active members of 
the Presbyterian Church in a Western State. The other chil- 
dren, five in number, " are in the better land." 



he Rev. Fitch Reed, D. D. was born in Amenia, 
N. Y., March 28, 1795. He was reared under Cal- 
vinistic instruction, but when he heard the Meth- 
odist preachers, he readily embraced the reasonable and 
scriptural doctrine of free grace and unlimited redemption. 
In the nineteenth year of his age he was awakened and con- 
verted under the ministry of Marvin Richardson, the junior 
preacher on the Dutchess circuit. 

lie soon abandoned his studies for the medical profession 
under a strong conviction that it was his duty to devote his 
life to the work of the Christian ministry. He writes: 

In the ear of conscience the call was as distinct and emphatic as if a voice 
from heaven had audibly declared, "Preach or be lost forever!" l 

He received his first license to preach at the age of twenty, 
and thereupon was immediately employed by Nathan Bangs, 
presiding elder, to labor on a circuit. 

APPOINTMENTS: 1815, last part of the year, supply, Rhinebeck dr., 
N. Y., with Wm. Anson and Thos. Thorp; 1816, supply, Goshen cir., Conn., 
with S. Cochran and Daniel Coe, supply; 1817, (New York Conf.,) Suffolk cir., 
N. Y., with William Jewett; 1818, Sag Harbor, 1819, ordained deacon by 
Bishop Roberts, — Dunham circuit, Vermont and Dower Canada; 1S20, mis- 
sionary to York, Canada; 1821, ordained elder — missionary to York and New 

1 Semi-centennial sermon, p. 7. 

Record of Ministers. 301 

Settlements, with K. M. K. Smith ; 1822, Ithaca and Caroline cir., N. Y., 
with Dana Fox; 1823, presiding elder, Susquehanna Dist.; 1824, Ithaca; 
1825-1826, Cazenovia ; 1827, Utica ; 1828, (New York Conf.,) Rhinebeck ; 
1829, Amenia cir., with A. S. kill ; 1:830, ditto, with Lorin Clark ; 1831-1832, 
Middletown, Conn.; 1833, New York city, west cir., with P. P. Sandford, J. 
Bowen, J. C. Green, and C. W. Carpenter ; 1834, ditto, with J. B. Stratton, 
J. C. Green, D. De Vinne, and J. C. Tackaberry ; 1835, agent for Wesleyan 
University ; 1836, Amenia cir., with D. Holmes, and J. P, Ellsworth ; 1837, 
Amenia and Sharon cir., with D. Holmes and G. L. Fuller; 1838, presiding 
elder, New Haven Dist.; 1839, Brooklyn, Sands-street; 1840, Pough- 
keepsie, with P P. Sandford; 1841, Poughkeepsiej 2nd ch.; 1842-1843, 
Sharon, Conn. ; 1844-1845, Danbury ; 1846-1847, Peekskill, N. Y. ; 1848-1849, 
(Oneida Conf.,) Ithaca; 1850, presiding elder, Susquehanna Dist.; 1851, 
Newark Dist; 1852, Ithaca Dist.; 1853-1856, Auburn Dist.; 1857, Ithaca, 
Seneca-street; 1858-1859, Port Byron ; 1860-1861, Asbury ; 1862-1868, sup'd; 
1869-1871, (Central New York Conf.,) sup'd. 

His delay in joining conference was on account of sickness 
and the fears which he and others entertained that he was too 
frail to endure the toils and privations of an itinerant preach- 
er's life. His published writings contain many interesting 
reminiscences of his early ministry. On Goshen circuit, while 
but a youth, he was permitted to lead a man one hundred and 
four years old to a saving trust in Jesus. He thus describes his 
journey to the Suffolk circuit, in 1817: 

As soon as I received my appointment I went to my father's and spent a 
few days at the dear home of my childhood. * * * Tuesday, June 24, 
the farewell was spoken, and I started to find my new field of labor. On 
horseback and alone, and by roads I had never traveled before, I journeyed 
to my destined place of toil, about one hundred and forty miles distant. That 
journey I shall never forget. I instinctively smile when I think of it, and 
call to mind several little incidents associated with my natural bashfulness 
and easily excited embaras^ment among strangers. I had been instructed to 
inquire at certain places for Methodist families, where the preachers were ac- 
customed to call, and where I would find welcome entertainment. It was 
exceedingly embarrassing to me to call on entire strangers, introduce myself 
as a preacher, and virtually ask entertainment for myself and beast as a gra- 

To find my way through the city of New York and to Long Island, that 
was the great question of my journey. I dreaded it beyond measure. What 
places and whom should I inquire for? I thought that as " a fool when he 
holdeth his peace is counted wise," I would keep my own counsels, and, if 
possible, not expose my verdancy. But I was driven from my circumspection. 
I found myself on Broadway, and, as it -seemed to be a well traveled road, I 
pushed on, knowing it would lead me somewhere. And it did. I came in 
sight of the Battery and the waters of the bay beyond. Now what shall I 
do ? Here is a gentlemanly looking man ; I will ask him to direct me. " Can 


02 Old Sands Street Church. 

you tell me, sir, if there are any Methodists living about here?" O dear! 
now I have betrayed myself. I have told him that I am a green country boy. 
A very significant smile and a shake of the head was his only reply. Turn- 
ing to retrace my steps, I saw upon the corner of a house, "John-street." It 
instantly occurred to me that I had seen this name in the imprint of our 
hymn book. Turning down the street, I soon came to our " Methodist Book 
Room," where I received a cordial greeting by Joshua Soule, the senior book 
agent, and I once more felt like myself. 

Crossing the East River into Brooklyn, I traveled that day as far as Jamaica, 
where, by direction of friends in New York, I called at the hospitable mansion 
of Brother Disosway, whose friendly greetings and kind attentions made 
ample amends for my previous embarrassments and perplexities. Friday I 
reached Hauppauge, a principal appointment on the circuit, and a short 
morning ride from Westfield, where the next day our quarterly meeting was to 
commence. I reached there on Saturday in time for the meeting, where I 
found my colleague, Rev. Wm. Jewett, and our presiding elder, Rev. Samuel 
Merwin. 2 

Concerning his appointment to Dunham circuit, whose north- 
ern limit was in sight of Montreal, he writes : 

Frail as I was, I did at first wonder that the lot should fall to me just here, 
and thought that possibly the bishop had made a. mistake in my appointment ; 
yet, before the year had expired, I most clearly perceived that it was the 
Lord, more than the bishop, who had supervision of the case. The harsh 
climate, the hard work and plenty of it, and the harder fare, were just what 
infinite Wisdom saw I needed. I praise the Lord to this day for Dunham 
circuit. It saved me from an early grave. 3 

In the following year, 1820, he was the gospel pioneer in the 
wilderness lying north of Lake Ontario. He says : 

The distance to be traveled in reaching it, including my journey to and 
from conference, was nearly one thousand miles. No circuit had been 
formed ; no one had preceded me as a messenger of mercy ; not a sermon, I 
believe, had been preached in all that region ; little more, indeed, than 
twelve months had elapsed since the ax was first heard to break the stillness 
of the forest. There were no roads, no bridges, no food for a horse ; so that 
all my travel, by no means very limited, was of necessity on foot. I was 
directed by a compass, without regard to the marks or monuments of the sur- 
veyor. I carried with me a common Indian hatchet, both as a defense against 
ferocious wild beasts, and as a means of constructing bridges over streams of 
water too deep to ford. 4 

It is not a little surprising that one so well entitled to the 

2 " Reminiscences," in the Northern Christian Advocate, 1863. 

3 Semi-centennial Sermon, p. 9. 

4 Ibid., p. n. 

Record of Ministers. 303 

rank of a pioneer should have so little prominence in the stand- 
ard histories of the church. 

He was married in 1823 to Miss Almeda Dana, sister of the 
late eminent Judge Amasa Dana, of Ithaca, N. Y. 6 He was a 
member of the General Conferences of 1824, 1832, 1840, and 
1844. 8 In i860 the Genesee College requested the Oneida 
Conference to designate some member of that body upon whom 
the degree of D.D. should be conferred. His daughter writes: 

The conference selected my father. He valued the honor, coming in that 
way, as a mark of their respect, though he had no fondness for degrees in 

During the ten years of his retirement he resided in Ithaca, 
N. Y., where he had been pastor several terms, and where his 
wife's relatives resided. Notwithstanding a troublesome bron- 
chial and asthmatic affection, he was able to preach occasionally, 
and was not confined to his room until one week previous to 
his death. His uniformly clear and blessed experience became 
manifestly more glowing and exultant during the last year of 
his life; and "when finally too weak to do more than whisper 
now and then a word, he still strove to tell how unspeakably 
precious Jesus was to him." 8 Thus he passed away on the 
10th of October, 187 1, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. 
A plain head-stone designates his grave in the cemetery in 
Ithaca, N. Y His widow and two or three daughters reside 
in or near Ithaca. 

Fitch Reed was one of the golden links uniting this genera- 
tion of Methodists to the early fathers of the church. He is 
thus characterized in his conference memorial : 

Dr. Reed was a man of 'scholarly attainments, possessed of an active, log- 
ical mind, refined taste, quick, sound judgment, pure, strong, and noble im- 
pulses. His preaching was at once instructive, entertaining, convincing, and 
persuasive. By his labors and sympathies he was always identified with the 
progressive spirit of the church. His piety was ardent and transparent. All 
knew its source ; it bore the seal of Christ, and could meet the approval of 

5 Smith's "Pillars in the Temple," p. 187. 

6 The conference memorial says, incorrectly, 1820, and omits 1832 and 1834. 

7 Miss Kate Reed— letter to the author. 

8 The Rev. O. H. Warren, in The Christian Advocate. 


ong Island having been detached from the old 
New York District in 1840, the Rev. Stephen 
Martindale, one of the leading ministers in the 
conference, then fifty-two years of age, was placed in charge 
of the district as its first presiding elder. He was a native 
of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He hailed from a state 
in which Methodism was early established and has always 
flourished; a state which gave to the denomination the first 
native American preacher, Richard Owen, and the first 
native American itinerant, William Watters; 1 and after them 
such renowned and heroic men as Freeborn Garrettson, 
Wm. Phoebus, Laurence M'Combs, George Pickering, Bish- 
ops Emory and Scott, and many others of equal power and 
fame. Tuckahoe Neck, the neighborhood from which he 
came, "furnished its quota of preachers for the itinerancy in 
the Reverends Ezekiel Cooper, Solomon Sharp, Stephen 
Martindale and Thomas Neal." 2 

Stephen Martindale was born near the Choptank River in 
the year 1788. His grandfather was a clergyman of the 
Church of England. His father, Daniel Martindale, was a 
Methodist class leader and local preacher. Ezekiel Cooper 
was a member of his class. A large part of his property 
was in slaves, but he set them free. He was a holy man. 
The mother of Stephen Martindale was named Mary Mead. 
He was the youngest of a family of ten children, and was 
two years old when his mother died. While he was yet a 
child his father was taken from him, and he was placed un- 
der the care of his sister, a woman of rare accomplishments, 
from whom he received an excellent training, and toward 
whom he ever cherished the deepest and truest affection. 3 

1 Lednum — Rise of Methodism, p. 21. 2 Ibid., p. 165. 

3 The author is indebted for these facts to the daughters of Stephen Martin- 
dale, Mrs. Dr. A. S. Purdy of New York, and Miss Mary Martindale of Tary- 

CoqA^h. ot a& 


Record of Ministers. 305 

He engaged in the work of the ministry under the direction 
of his presiding elder in the year 1808. The name of his charge 
is not known. 

PASTORAL RECORD : 1808, supply ; 1809, Somerset cir., Md., with 
David Best; 1810, Dover cir., Del., with J. Sharpley ; 1811, ordained deacon, 
—Snow Hill cir., Md., with W. Wickes ; 1812, Morris cir., N. J., with J. Van 
Shaick ; 1813, ordained elder, — Essex cir., with John Finley ; 1814, Bergen 
cir., with Phineas Price ; 1815, Philadelphia, St. George's, with Robert Burch 
and L. Laurenson ; 1816, ditto, with Robert Burch and Martin Ruter ; 1817, 
Talhot cir., Md., with W. Quinn ; 1818, Queen Ann's cir., with Thos. Ware ; 
1819, ditto, with Wm. Ryder ; 1820, Kent cir., with T. Smith ; 1821, New- 
ark, N. J. ; 1822, (New York Conf.,) New York city cir., with E. Washburn, 
M. Richardson, Wm. Ross, H. Bangs, and J. Summerfield ; 1823, ditto, with 
E. Washburn, P. Rice, J. B. Stratton, S. Bushnell, and E. Brown ; 1824, New 
Rochelle cir., with H. Bangs, L. Andrus, sup'y ; 1825, ditto, with P. Rice, L. 
Andrus, sup'y: 1826-1827, Troy ; 1S28-1829, (New England Conf.,) Boston, 
Mass., with E. Wiley ; 1830, (New York Conf,,) New York city cir., with S. 
Luckey, S. Meiwin, L. Pease, B. Goodsell, N. Bangs, and S. D. Ferguson; 
1831, ditto, with S. Merwin, L. Pease, B. Goodsell, S. Landon, J. Clark, B. 
Sillick, and C. Prindle ; 1832, Stratford cir., Conn., with L. C. Cheney ; 
1833—1836, presiding elder, New Haven Dist, Conn. ; 1837, White Plains 
and Greensburgh cir., N. Y., with D. I. Wright, R. Harris, sup'y ; 1838, 
ditto, with J. A. Sillick, S. U. Fisher, sup'y, and R. Harris, sup'y ; 1839, pre- 
siding elder, Rhinebeck Dist. : 1840-1843, presiding elder, Long Island 
Dist. ; 1844-1845, New York, Eighteenth-street ; 1846-1847, New York, 
Norfolk-street ; 1848-1850, presiding elder, Delaware Dist. ; 1851, Newburgh 
Dist. ; 1852-1854, New York Dist. ; 1855-1858, Poughkeepsie Dist. ; 1859, 
Irvington, N. Y, ; i860, superannuated. 

His daughter writes : 

I heard my father say that when he went out to preach he was but nineteen 
years of age and had only one shilling in his pocket, but that he had never 
wanted for money. 4 

Having traveled four years, he was married in 1812. His 
wife taught school to supplement their insufficient salary. He 
was ordained by Bishop Asbury, and was on familiar terms with 
all the earlier bishops. " He came North," says his daughter, 
*' on account of slavery. His wife was greatly opposed to the 
system, and told the Southerners that some day all their slaves 
would be free." 

Remarkable revivals attended Mr. Martindale's labors in 
Troy, Bowery Village, and Boston. He was greatly inter- 
ested in the work of his friend, Father Taylor, of Boston, and 
he aided in the formation of the Port Society of that city. 

4 Mrs. Dr. A. E. Purdy— letter to the author. 

306 Old Sands Street Church. 

With R. R. Roberts, L. M'Combs, Joseph Totten, Ezekiel 
Cooper, and other famous men, he represented the Philadelphia 
Conference as General Conference delegate in 1816 and 1820, 
and with Garrettson, Merwin, Bangs, Ostrander, Washburn, 
Sandford, Waugh, Richardson, Clark, Rice, Olin, Peck, and oth- 
ers of like standing, he formed a part of the New York Confer- 
ence delegations in 1824, 1828, 1836, and 1844. 

After more than half a century of devoted, heroic, and useful 
service in the active ministry, he departed this life in great 
peace, May 23, i860, in the seventy-third year of his age. His 
illness was of about two months' duration. To an aged friend 
who visited him he said, " I have always believed in the doc- 
trines I have preached, and they sustain me now." 5 To the 
Rev John J. Matthias, who called upon him, he quoted with 
animation some of the most triumphant strains of the psalmist. 
That was an hour of supreme interest to these two men of God. 
They were to meet no more on the shores of time, but were 
destined to hail each other very soon on the plains of heavenly 
glory. The memorial in the Conference Minutes contains the 
following : 

Mr. Martindale's eldest daughter states that about a week before his death 
he awoke from sleep with an expression of joy on his countenance. She in- 
quired why he looked so joyous. "O," said he, "I rejoice with all my 
heart. * * * My work is done. * * * I am a sinner saved by grace ! " 

His friend, John J. Matthias, wrote for The Christian Advo- 
cate as follows : 

His funeral sermon was preached by the writer on 2 Tim. iv, 7, 8 : "I 
have fought a good fight," etc., in the presence of a numerous congregation, 
in the Methodist church in Tarry town. Rev. Mr. Wakeley offered prayer at 
the house, and Rev. Drs. M'Clintock and Foster, and Rev. Mr. Todd, of the 
Dutch Church, led the devotions of the congregation. Among the pall-bear- 
ers were the pastors of the village (Baptist, Episcopalian, Dutch Reformed) 
and others. The neighboring gentlemen sent their carriages to convey the 
people to the grave. 

He and his wife are buried in a neatly inclosed plot in 
Sleepy Hollow cemetery, in Tarrytown, N. Y., and modest 
head-stones mark their resting-place. 

Mr. Martindale is uniformly described by those who knew 
him as a man of uncommon amiability, cool self-possession, 
and good judgment. Many remember him as a sound theolo- 

5 Minutes of Conferences, 1861, p. 113. 

Record of Ministers. 307 

gian, a good pastor, a loved presiding elder, (twenty years in 
that office,) a popular preacher, a sweet singer, and " remark- 
ably gifted in prayer." His " diction was always correct and 
often elegant." He was " tall and well-proportioned, with a 
countenance fair and ruddy, expressive of intelligence and be- 
nignity," and he spoke with " a voice whose rich intonations 
flowed and rippled like a brook." 8 In all his varied relations 
he maintained a consistent piety. His daughter says — and her 
words are quoted in his obituary — 

It was my father's example that made me a Christian. It was his daily 
walk in the privacy of family and home that preached and made us love the 
religion which he illustrated. 

Twenty-one years after his death his younger daughter 
wrote : 

I often heard my father say that if he thought he had one drop of bigotry 
in his veins, and knew where to find it, he would take an instrument and let 
it out. Nevertheless, both of our parents were the most intense Methodists ; 
and we children gloried in Methodism because it was the religion of such 
parents, and was progressive. Yes, my father made us intelligent Methodists. 
He said he wished us to choose Methodism for ourselves ; and so, as soon as 
we came to years of discretion, he procured the standard books of each 
church, as well as " Hurd on all Religions," and frequently conversed with 
us on any mooted point ; not forcing us, but leaving us alone to read and in- 
quire at our own option. In looking into my father's face I always thought 
of the glory of a June day — the deep-blue eyes were like the sky, and his 
smile was like the sunshine. Seldom are children nurtured amid such ele- 
vating influences. * * * Both parents were singularly fond of young people, 
especially such as were struggling to rise. Our house was a home for many 
such, and many have been sent forth therefrom rejoicing. When my brdthers 
were in college (we lived in the town part of the time) they were urged to 
bring their college mates home ; for both father and mother were aware that 
there was no safeguard for these young men like such a home as thev knew 
ours to be. Dr. Fisk, his compeers and successors, were household friends, 
and loved to come to our house for relaxation and social cheer. Excuse me 
for writing so freely— it is seldom I do this. * * * 

My father was morbidly sensitive in regard to any parade of services 
rendered. We used to talk often about this, but I could not change his 
mind. I sometimes playfully told him, " I might some day support myself by 
such things," but his invariable, gentle, reverent reply to me was, " God 
knows." To-day, when papers and books do so laud human service, I love 
the memory of my sainted father all the more intensely because of this reti- 
cence. I have two manuscript volumes of sermons and outlines to tell me 
what he did in public. His home life is in my heart.' 

6 Conference Minutes, 1861, p. 114. 

' Miss Mary Martin dale— letter to the author. 

308 Old Sands Street Church. 

Mary (Sandford,) his wife, daughter of Joseph Sandford," 
was born in Belleville, N. J., September 26, 1788, and died in 
Tarrytown, N. Y., November 6, i868, in the eightieth year of 
her age. Dr. Joseph Holdich wrote a beautiful sketch of her 
life for The Christian Advocate, in which he says : 

Mrs. Martindale used to tell the story of her own conversion. When she 
was twenty years of age her father, [an Episcopalian at the time,] one even- 
ing soon after his own awakening, went to a prayer-meeting held at a near 
neighbor's. " Tell Mary," he said to her mother, " to come to the prayer- 
meeting." Mary was accustomed to say, " If my mother had told me my fa- 
ther was dead, I could not have felt worse than when she told me that he had 
gone to a Methodist prayer-meeting, and directed me to come likewise." But 
she never dreamed for an instant of disobeying him. That prayer-meeting 
resulted in the conversion of both father and daughter. She gave her heart 
to Christ, and both united in membership in the same " household of faith." 
At the age of twenty-four she was united in marriage to the Rev. Stephen Mar- 
tindale, then in the zenith of his popularity ; * * * but the Methodist Church, 
then in its infancy, was feeble, poor, little understood, and not in good repute 
among the more cultured classes, or in the world at large. But none of these 
things moved her. She became the devout and devoted wife of a Methodist 
preacher, and cheerfully shared all his toils. She was his helpful compan- 
ion, encouraging, counseling, sustaining him, manifesting a happy temper, 
and looking naturally at the bright and hopeful side. She could put up with 
inconveniences without complaining ; while, by a prudent but not pinch- 
ing economy, she made the small stipend of a minister of that day not 
only meet their wants, but sustain a reputable appearance. She brought 
up their children with great propriety and respectability, securing them 
educations adapted to any station in society. * * * Her children and 
grandchildren have in her sweet life and example a blessed treasure that 
shall ^iot be forgotten. 

Her pastor, the Rev. Charles S. Brown, in an address at her 

funeral, said : 

I shall never forget — those who sat near her, and especially the daughter 
who was with her, will never forget — the rapture of her spirit the last time 
she filled her seat in the house of God. It was her custom to retire, leaning 
on the arm of her beloved daughter, before the closing services, to es- 
cape the excitement of passing out with the congregation. But on that day 
she could not go. She joined with unusual fervor in singing the last hymn, 
and at the close, turning to a lady who sat near her, expressed her desire, if it 
might be the will of God, to go from the earthly directly to the heavenly 
sanctuary. 9 

The day before her death this pastor found her too feeble 
for distinct utterance, but giving other signs of peace that is 

8 See sketch of the Rev. P. P Sandford in this work. 

9 Quoted by the Rev. Dr. Holdich in his memorial sketch. 

Record of Ministers. 309 

"like a river." The Rev J. W B. Wood, a former pastor, was 
with her when she departed. Mr. Brown said further : 

She was a member of the New York Female Bible Society, and active 
as a Bible visitor. She was also a member of the Female Assistance 
Society, and for some time one of its managers. * * * Not only her 
husband and her children shared the fruits of her self-denial, but 
strangers and the poor always found in her a friend. Take the following 
specimen : Twelve little children coming in yesterday to look at her 
remains, one of them said to the rest, " Who will give us cake, now 
Grandma Martindale is dead ? " 

Dr. C. K. True, who knew her long and well, wrote a loving 
testimonial to her children after her departure. Our limited 
space forbids us to quote from it. The following tribute by her 
daughter is too good to be omitted : 

My mother learned by heart many of the poems of standard English au- 
thors, and in the last year (eightieth) of her life would repeat page after page 
of Pope, Pollock, Cowper, " dear old Goldy," (Goldsmith,) and lots of others. 
My father, even, with his fine mental qualities, always deferred to my mother 
on that score. She was wonderfully appreciative and brilliant, even in her 
eightieth year, quick at repartee, and well posted in all important political, 
social, and intellectual questions in home and foreign lands. She was, 
moreover, one of the best and most sympathizing of friends to the poor and 
lowly. I was but a child when we lived in Boston, I remember, and my sis- 
ter was a lovely young lady. One of my brothers had a little hand wagon. 
Often, after night-fall, my mother would fill this wagon with fuel, and, giving 
my sister a basket filled with good things, would send the two out on missions 
of love to some distressed home. We were always taught by both parents 
that any loving, unselfish act never degraded us, however poor and miserable 
might be the recipient. , 

When my parents were young, father's salary was so small that my mother 
opened a little school, and in after years she used laughingly to say she 
"made much more money than did my father." * * * We lived one year in 
Brooklyn while father, was presiding elder of Long Island District, and he 
advised us each to unite with a different church. My mother went to York- 
street, brother Stephen to Centenary, I to Washingson-street, and all rallied 
at Sands-street. 10 

As we might expect, we are able to make a gratifying record 
of the children of Stephen and Mary Martindale : James Alex- 
ander, after studying medicine at Yale, lost his health, took a 
sea-voyage for restoration, (his passion was the sea,) rose to 
rank, and died in Santo Domingo, of yellow fever, November 
x 5> 1844. Anne Sandford, wife, of Dr. Alfred S. Purdy, of New 


Miss Mary Martindale — letter to the author. 

310 Old Sands Street Church. 

York, who died December 2, 1883, was for nearly twenty years 
first directress of the New York Female Assistance Society for 
the Relief of the Sick Poor, and for a long time a manager of the 
New York Female Auxiliary Bible Society, (with both of these 
societies, as we have seen, her mother was connected many 
years ago ;) she was also a manager of the New York Branch 
of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, and of the M'Clin- 
tock Association, and of the Five Points' Mission. She is also 
remembered as connected with the Soldiers' Relief Association 
in the work at the hospitals during the war for the Union. 
Stephen, Jr., a true Christian gentleman, was graduated with 
honor at the Wesleyan University, practiced law in the city of 
New York, and died May 28, 1852. Joseph, a druggist by occu- 
pation, died May 24, 1853. Mary, twin sister of Joseph, was 
never married. She wrote, July 9, 1883, to the author : 

I am trying to follow my father as he followed Christ, which was lovingly 
and faithfully. I am a lone woman, fighting the world with my own two 
little hands, but the memories of the departed are my strongholds, and, please 
God, when the fight is over the reunion and rest will be glorious. 

She entered that "glorious rest," from her home in Tarry- 
town, N. Y., on the 15th of February, 1884, and near the graves 
of her parents a new mound was made over her mortal remains. 
Daniel, a younger brother, was graduated from Wesleyan Univer- 
sity at the head of his class, entered the legal profession, was 
State's attorney in Jackson, La., and died a victim of yellow 
fever, November 1, 1853 — "a martyr to his own kindness of 
disposition, as he caught the fever from nursing a friend." 11 
Mary wrote in a letter : 

My three younger brothers all died within eighteen months — all noble sons, 
our great hope and dependence. My parents never fully recovered from the 
pain of this bereavement, yet never let the shadow of our great loss fall upon 
others. It seemed to ripen them for heaven. 

11 Dr. Holdich in The Christian Advocate. 



E are informed that the Oakleys sprung from the 
substantial yeomanry of old England. The name 
can be found as far back as the eighth century. At a 
very early period in the history of this country, three mem- 
bers of the Oakley family came hither and landed in Boston. 
After a while one of them settled in the county of Westches- 
ter N. Y. George Oakley, one of his descendants, was father 
to the subject of this sketch. He became a Methodist in West- 
chester county, moved to New York city, joined the old 
John-street church, and finally moved "up town," casting in 
his lot with the Forsyth-street brethren, and his remains 
were laid to rest in the burial ground of that church. 

The Rev. Peter Cannon Oakley was born in the city of 
New York, August 20, 1800. From early childhood he at- 
tended the Methodist meetings, but his mind was not per- 
manently impressed with divine truth until he read in a book 
called "Russell's Seven Sermons" a discourse on "Time and 
Eternity." About this time his father died instantly from a 
stroke of apoplexy This terrible bereavement strengthened 
his purpose to choose God for his Father and guide. A 
kind Providence had prepared for him an excellent Chris- 
tian home with the parents of "Harper and Brothers," where, 
though he was but an apprentice, he was treated as one of 
the family. Gradually, by the leadings of the Spirit and the 
encouragement afforded by "Father and Mother Harper," he 
was brought to the enjoyment of divine favor, and joined 
the John-street church when about seventeen years' of age. 
In recalling this event he writes: "I am probably the only 
person now living who was then in the old hive." 1 

1 Letter to the author. 

^i2 Old Sands Street Church. 

His first license as an exhorter was signed by Ebenezer 
Washburn, preacher in charge, New York city, November u, 
1822. About twelve months later, after he had been traveling 
some time under P P, Sandford, presiding elder, as a supply, 
he received a local preacher's license, and a recommendation 
to the New York Annual Conference. 

Previous to his conversion he had gained but a limited 
knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic. His conversion 
aroused in him an ardent thirst for knowledge, and though 
working at the printing press fourteen hours a day, he found 
" much time to read," and, in company with J. Wesley Harper 
and Nicholas Murray, (afterward the Rev. Dr. Murray,) he 
studied English grammar. Having served his apprenticeship, 
he entered the Wesleyan Seminary, in Crosby-street, New York, 
where he acquired some knowledge of the Latin and Greek 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1823, supply, Croton cir., N. Y. with 
Marvin Richardson; (New York Conf.,) Croton cir., with M. Richardson; 1825, 
Granville cir , Mass. and Conn., with Smith Dayton ; 1826, ordained deacon, — 
ditto, with D. Miller and Job Allen ; 1827, Pittsfield cir., Mass., with B. Sil- 
lick and S. C. Hurd ; 1828, ordained elder, — ditto, with B. Sillick and C. 
F. Pelton ; 1829-1830, Poultney, Vt. ; 1831, Middlebury; 1832, (Troy Conf.,) 
Middlebury ; 1833, Charlotte and Shelburn cir.; 1834, ditto, with J. Gobbett ; 
1835-1837, presiding elder, Plattsburgh Dist. ; 1838, Troy N. Y., North Second- 
street, with J. Cannon, sup'y ; 1839, Oneida Conf., Ithaca; 1840-1841, (New 
York Conf.,) Brooklyn, Sands-street; 1S42-1843, New York, Willett-street; 
1844-1845, Stamford, Conn.; 1846, Hartford, Conn., with C. Fletcher; 1847, 
Hartford; 1848-1849, Saugerties, N. Y.; 1850, agent, New York State Coloniza- 
tion Society ; 1851-1852, Yorkville, N. Y.; 1853-1854, Goshen; 1855-1858, pre- 
siding elder, Rhinebeck Dist.; 1859-1860, Cold Spring; 1861, Ash ford and 
Greensburgh ; 1862-1 863, North Newburgh ; 1S64-1866, Shrub Oak ; 1867- 
1869 Sugar Loaf ; 1870-1871, Milton; 1873-1874. sup'y; 1875-1884, sup'd. 

He traveled and preached fifty years without losing six months 
during the entire period. In a letter to the author he says : 

In my earlier circuits I preached about thirty sermons in a month, leading 
class after each public service. The custom was on Sunday to preach three 
times and lead three classes. But I performed the work as a matter of course, 
and never thought it hard. The pay was small— one hundred dollars a year 
for a single man, and I was counted such for four years— but I never grieved 
at that, for I did not preach for money. 

Mr. Oakley was married, September 12, 1827, in Windsor, 
Conn., to Miss Maria Loomis. His brethren elected him del- 
egate to the General Conference of 1836. He was married a 

Record of Ministers. ^z 

second time, in 1844, to Miss Harriet Sillick, daughter of 
his friend and former colleague, the Rev. Bradley Sillick. This 
wife still survives, and the two are enjoying a serene and happy 
old age in the town of Milton, N. Y 

Concerning his connection with Sands-street church, Mr. 
Oakley writes : 

My pastorate in Brooklyn was interesting and very pleasant, but the inci- 
dents were not remarkable. The longest confinement I ever had in my min- 
istry was there. In consequence of visiting a sick sister, I caught the 
varioloid, and was kept in-doors some weeks. I have pleasant memories of 
J. W. Harper and family, Jacob Brown, John Smith, David Coope, Father 
Herbert, etc., etc. But most of them are gone— I hope to meet them on the 
other shore. 3 

That he has learned the art of growing old gracefully, is 
evident from the following statement : 

As it regards myself now, my eyesight is good, my hearing a little defective, 
my hand, as you see, trembles ; otherwise my mental and physical powers are 
in fair order for one who has passed through eighty-three summers. My 
children are all gone, except a daughter, who is unmarried and remains at 
home. Myself, wife, and daughter form a trio to be broken by and by ; but 
there is a " sweet by and by," where we hope to meet, not as a little trio, but 
as a part of the general assembly and church of the first-born in heaven. 

Maria, his wife, died in the Willett-street parsonage, April 
3, 1844, in the forty-seventh year of her age. She was born in 
1798, in Windsor, Conn., and experienced religion a short time 
prior to her marriage. Her piety was uniform and genuine. 
She spent her last Sabbath, though feeble, in the house of God. 
"She washer husband's best earthly friend and confidential 
adviser. As a mother* she loved her children, and by every 
means in her power, sought their present and future welfare 

>> 4 

8 Letter to the author. 

4 Dr. Noah Levings in The Christian Advocate. 


he ministry of the Rev. Leonard M. Vincent in 
the old Sands-street church was a very marked 
success. At the close of his term in the year 1844, 
the full members and probationers had increased to six hun- 
dred and sixty-four, the largest membership to which the 
church ever attained. 

Like Peter P Sandford's second initial, the "M." in Leon- 
ard M. Vincent's name is only a distinguishing letter. Mr. 
Vincent is the only surviving ex-pastor of this church whom 
the writer has never seen — a lack only partly compensated 
by a pleasant but very brief correspondence. This fact 
makes the task of writing the present sketch more than or- 
dinarily difficult and delicate. 

The date of Leonard M. Vincent's birth is October 16, 
1814; the place one of the villages on the eastern shore of 
the Hudson — town of Washington, Dutchess, County, N. Y. 
His childood home was a little cottage by the river's brink. 

From its windows in front, vessels could be seen passing up and down. 
Hard by, at the end of the cottage, was a creek, emptying itself into the river. 
Near the mouth of the creek was a beautiful waterfall. This was backed 
by a large pond of water, the motive power of mills and factories that stood be- 
low. The location of the cottage was picturesque in the extreme. Here he 
spent his early days, and spent them happily, in the society of an affectionate 
mother and a devoted sister near three years his senior. 1 

Leonard was very young when his father died, and his 
mother, though not a Christian, trained him in "the strictest 
morality " In accordance with his father's expressed desire, 
the boy was placed at the age of ten years in the care of his 
uncle, to be brought up on a farm. At fourteen he re- 
turned to the home of his mother, to spend a year in 

1 "The Farmer Boy " pp. 13, 15. This volume is from the pen of Mr. Vin- 
cent — an autobiography; disguised, however, by the use of an assumed name. 
Most of the facts here narrated are gleaned from this little book. 

Record of Ministers. 315 

school. Although his religious instruction had been very lim- 
ited, he was placed in charge of a class of boys in the Sunday- 
school. By this means he became acquainted with the minister 
and other pious persons, who " taught him the way of the Lord 
more perfectly." In a short time he was powerfully convicted of 
sin and happily saved. His struggles with his own heart, the 
firmness of his resolution, the bitterness of his repentance, the 
fierceness of his temptations, and the rapture of his deliverance, 
were quite remarkable in the experience of one so young. He 
exhibited great conscientiousness and sincerity from the begin- 
ning of his Christian life. Following his convictions of duty he 
asked the privilege of erecting a family* altar in his mother's 
home; and, in the presence of the family and several visitors, 
none of whom were professors of religion, he offered prayer. 
The joy of the lad was complete when, a short time afterward, 
he learned that by manfully bearing the heavy cross in the 
presence of his mother, sister, uncle, and aunt, he had been the 
means of leading them all to Christ, and erecting two family 
altars instead of one. 

His call to the ministry was simultaneous with his conversion, 
but not very promptly obeyed. He abandoned the idea of 
farming, and entered the employ of his sister's husband as 
clerk of a store in New York. During his stay there he was 
connected with the Duane-street church, where he became as- 
sociated with the lamented Dr. Emory and other eminent 
Christians. Leaving the city at the end of one year, he returned 
to his native village, served as a clerk in a store two years, then 
engaged in mercantile business on his own account. After his 
marriage, which occurred about this time, he applied himself 
the more closely to business for two or three years, "toiling on 
under constant convictions and struggles of mind " concerning 
his call to the ministry. 

Receiving license as a local preacher in the summer of 1832, 
he preached his first sermon in a school-house on a Sunday 
afternoon. A horn was blown to call the people together. It 
was the last message to which some of the hearers ever listened, 
for the cholera seized five persons of that congregation soon 
after the service closed, and they were dead and buried before 
eleven o'clock the next day. 

Providence opening the way for a satisfactory disposal of his bus- 
iness interests, he entered the itinerant ministry in the year 1837, 

316 Old Sands Street Church. 

CONFERENCE RECORD : 1837, (New York Conf.,) Dutchess cir., 
N. Y., with John Reynolds; 1838, ditto, with S. Cochran; 1839, ordained 
deacon by Bishop Hedding, — Mount Pleasant cir., with S. Van Dusen ; 1840, 
ditto, with D. Holmes; 1841, ordained elder, — Johnsville, with J. A. Chalker; 
1842-1843, Brooklyn, Sands-street ; 1844, Rhinebeck ; 1845-1846, New 
York, Allen-street ; 1847-1848, New York, Duane-street ; 1849-1850, Pough- 
keepsie, Washington-street; 1851-1852, Matteawan ; 1853-1854, New York, 
Sullivan-street ; 1855-1858, presiding elder, Newburgh Dist. ; 1 859-1862, pre- 
siding elder, Pouglikeepsie Dist. ; 1863, Poughkeepsie, Washington-street; 
1864-1884, superannuated. 

In Sands-street church, as already intimated, Mr. Vincent 
was exceedingly industrious and successful. He endeared him- 
self to the young, the sick, and the poor — to all, indeed, as a man 
of warm sympathy, sound judgment, and remarkable adaptation 
to the pastor's vocation. He was there during "a year of re- 
vivals," and Sands-street church shared in the general visitation. 
Mention has already been made of the demolition of the old 
white church, and the erection of a new, brick edifice during 
his ministry there. 

Several incidents of Mr. Vincent's pastorate in Sands-street 
are recorded in the story of " The Farmer Boy " In the humble 
home of a pious widow, a native of Scotland, her little son, 
John, sickened and died. He had been found by a kind teacher 
and led to the Sands-street Sunday-school ; the mother had fol- 
lowed her boy to the church, and both had learned the blessed- 
ness of trusting in the Lord. Their home was an attic in 
an obscure " alley," but the pastor found it to be the abode of 
heavenly peace. He writes: 

Frequent interviews with John confirmed my very favorable opinion of his 
piety and preparedness for heaven. The same calm resignation to the Divine 
will, the same sweetness of spirit was manifested up to the hour of his depart- 
ure. * * * He whispered, " I am ready," and sweetly slept in Jesus. * * * 
John was buried on a Sabbath afternoon. It was one of those bright and 
glowing days of summer, when nature seemed loudest to proclaim the good- 
ness and mercy of the Lord. Early in the afternoon- the corpse was taken 
from the home in the alley, and borne to the church-yard. Here it was 
placed upon a bier, beneath the shade of a majestic willow, whose branches, 
gracefully bending, swept the green earth, as moved by the winds of heaven. 
All then retired into the church and listened to the funeral sermon. This 
service being concluded, a procession was formed for the place of burial, 
headed by a band of Sabbath-school scholars, bearing the remains of the 
deceased. Then followed his mother, some three hundred children, and a 
great number of the congregation, each anxious to show respect to the piety 
and worth of the mother and her son. After the body was deposited in the 

Record of Ministers, 317 

ground, and the burial service was read, the vast group of children joined in 
& sweet and touching hymn, the melody of which was occasionally interrupted 
by the sobs and sighs of the multitude. It was a tribute shown not to wealth, 
©r fame, or worldly distinction, but to piety, such as commanded the approval 
of God and the admiration of men. 2 

Another incident is worthy of being transferred to these 
pages, since it furnishes an example of Mr. Vincent's diligent 
pastoral service, and illustrates the grand work done by the 
Sands-street Sunday-school. It is recorded as follows : 

Soon after my entrance upon my ministerial duties in this charge I was 
called to visit a poor widow. She was the mother of an interesting and much- 
laved daughter, aged, perhaps, eleven years. She was a stranger in the place. 
Her birthplace was beyond the wide Atlantic. Her home was there, and her 
kindred. Her heart yearned to visit her native shores, and she desired that 
her dust might mingle with the soil of the country where she was born. In 
njy visits I was frequently led to mark her holy triumph. There was joy in 
her countenance in the midst of her sufferings. Resignation was upon her 
brow, and the language of sweet submission fell from her lips. There was 
only one tie, she said, that bound her to earth. Its strength is best known to 
a mother's heart. That tie was her orphan child, a member of our Sabbath- 
school. Never shall I forget the scene I witnesssed — that mother gazing with 
tearful eyes upon her offspring, and commending to God, as her last sacrifice, 
her girl. She had just asked me to pray for her, that God would give her a 
complete victory. We prayed. The struggle was severe and somewhat pro- 
tracted, but the mother triumphed By faith the daughter was committed 
willingly, and in holy confidence, to God ; and there was a holy calm in the 
mother's breast. To gratify her earnest wishes, it was resolved that she 
should cross the wide waste of waters to the shores of France, if her wasted 
energies would permit it. She hoped thus to die amid the scenes of her child- 
hood. Kind friends came to assist her. The mother and daughter left us, 
followed by the prayers of pastor, friends, and especially Mary's Sabbath- 
school teacher and classmates. The mother lived to see the land of her birth, 
but. not to tread on its shores. The pilot boat that towed the ship to her 
anchorage bore to the wharf the lifeless remains of the mother. 

But the little girl, the orphan ; you ask, what became of her ? She found 
the home sought by her parent, but O ! how desolate ! The joy of her life was 
wanting. No parental ear was there to hear the tale of her sorrow. No 
breast heaved with emotion, on which to pillow her little head and find com- 
fort. She was alone. Though among her kindred, they were strangers. 
Months passed, and then a letter came to the Sabbath-school teacher, bearing 
tidings of this lone child of sorrow. In that letter, she, in substance, said : 
" I am hastening to meet my mother in a better world. I am dying ; con- 
sumption takes me as it did mamma ; but I wish to tell you that my heart 
cherishes its attachment to my Sabbath-school in America. I have not for- 
gotten nor ceased to love my teacher, schoolmates, and friends. Though far 


The Farmer Boy," pp. 128-130. 

318 Old Sands Street Church. 

away, my heart still clings to you who received us, strangers ; yet cared for us, 
and taught us the things of God. I am dying ; but my Sabbath-school lessons 
I learned with you (for I have no minister now) have shown me where to go 
in the hour of trouble, and in whom to trust. I believe that I have the prayers 
of those who cared so much for me in a land so distant. I have gone to my 
Saviour ; I have offered my prayers to him ; I have been brought .nto his 
favor, and feel that I am his child. I am ready to go and meet mamma in 
heaven. Farewell ! I am dying ! happy, happy, happy ! " 

This letter came with a postscript : " She is dead." O! ye Sabbath-school 
teachers and friends, see the fruits of your toil ! God waters the seed you 
sow, and gives you a hundred-fold. Toil on, then. Here is one saved, at 
least, — yea, two, the mother and the daughter. When the mother landed on 
our shores she was a French Catholic. It was a Sabbath-school teacher that 
won the mother by winning the child ; both by this means were led to Christ." 

Mr. Vincent was married to a daughter of the Rev. Marvin 
Richardson. One of their sons is the Rev Marvin R. Vincent, 
D.D., of the Church of the Covenant, New York city, and their 
daughter is the wife of a minister. 

3 "The Farmer Boy," pp. 138-142. 





ohn B. Matthias was a sturdy pioneer Methodist 
preacher, whose name will not cease to be honored 
in the annals of the church. His visits to the lit- 
tle society in Brooklyn soon after it was organized, and his 
prominent agency in the introduction of camp-meetings into 
this region, we have already noted. His son, the Rev John 
Jarvis Matthias, was born in the city of New York, Janu- 
ar y 7> 1796. The name Jarvis was given him in honor of his 
mother's family. Her parents, Nathaniel and Phcebe Jarvis, 
were devoted Methodists in the town of Huntington, L. I. 
Of the same family were Bishop A. Jarvis and the Rev. S. F 
Jarvis, of Connecticut. 1 

Bishop Janes, an ardent friend and admirer of John J. 
Matthias, wrote thus concerning his early life: 

At a suitable age he went to Brooklyn to learn the art of printing, but the de- 
cease of his employer prematurely closed the engagement. While in this per- 
suit he became the subject of converting grace, and soon felt that he was called 
of God to the Christian ministry, which he entered at the age of twenty-one. 2 

He was charged with various responsible offices during 
his active ministry as appears from the following list of his 

APPOINTMENTS: 1817, (New York Conf.,) Goshen cir., Conn., with 
E. P. Jacob; 1818, Pittsfield cir., Mass., with E. P. Jacob; 1819, ordained dea- 
con, — Stow cir., Vt., with H. Dewolf; 1820, Luyden cir., Mass., with John 
Clark; 1821, ordained elder, — Cortland cir., N. Y., with G. Lyon; 1822, ditto, 
with R. Harris; 1823, Middlebury, Vt.; 1824, St. Albans cir., with S. Covel; 
1825, Pittsfield, Mass., with G. Pierce; 1826, Cortland cir., N. Y., with H. 
Hatfield; 1827, New York city, with T. Burch, N. White, R. Seney, N. Lev- 
ings and Julius Field; 1828, ditto, with T Burch, C. Carpenter, J. Hunt, N. 
Levings and George Coles; 1829-1830, Albany, North ch.; 1831-1832, (Phila. 
Conf.,) Newark cir., N. J., with A. Atwood; 1833-1835, presiding elder, East 
Jersey Dist.; 1836, Philadelphia, Nazareth ch. ; 1837-1841, sup'd; 1837, govern- 
or of Bassa Cove, Africa; 1842, (New York Conf.,) Flushing, N. Y.; 1843. 

1 Sprague's Annals. 2 The Christian Advocate, Jan. 9, 1862. 

320 Old Sands Street Church. 

Rockaway; 1844-1847 presiding elder, Long Island Dist.; 1848-1849, 
(New York East Conf.,) Williamsburgh, Grand-street, (Gothic;) 1850-1851, 
New York, 27th-street ; 1852, sup'y, Hempstead, with S. W Smith; 1853, 
Jamaica; 1S54, sup'd ; 1855-1858, chaplain Seamen's Friend Retreat, Staten 
Island; 1859, sup'y; 1860-1861, sup'd. 

His appointment, in 1837, as governor of Bassa Cove, on the 
West Coast of Africa, was given him by the Colonization Socie- 
ties of Pennsylvania and New York. He remained in Africa 
about one year, "filling the station of governor with ability and 
usefulness, and to the satisfaction of the societies." There his 
wife died of African fever, and he barely escaped death from 
the same disease. After his return he was employed for a while 
in the Methodist Book Concern, and some time on his farm in 
Bloom field, N. J. He was married, in 1839, to Miss Mary C. 
Beach, of Newark, N. J. 

While serving as chaplain in the " Retreat," he discharged 
his duties well, and "was held in the highest esteem by the 
officers and managers of that institution." He resigned the 
chaplaincy on account of feeble health, and retired to a quiet 
and comfortable home in Tarrytown, N. Y., where he spent the 
remnant of his days. Bishop Janes says : 

Perhaps none of the positions he had filled in his active ministry was more 
difficult than this retired one ; * * * but he pleasantly moved in this circum- 
scribed sphere, ornamenting the church, and honoring his profession to the 

He preached the Sabbath but one before his departure, 
from the text, "And there shall be no more death." Though 
afflicted a long time with dyspepsia and clergyman's sore throat, 
he was prostrated only a few days. In the midst of his greatest 
suffering he requested his wife to repeat the hymn commenc- 

"Jesus, thy blood and righteousness 
My beauty are, my glorious dress ; " 

and exclaimed, " How beautiful ! " A little later he said to 
Mrs. Matthias, " If disembodied spirits are permitted to return 
to this world, I will love to be with you." Though he talked 
thus of his departure, he did not seem to apprehend that it 
was so very near. He wound up his watch as usual, and within 
half an hour he slept in Jesus, on the 25th of September, 1861, 
aged sixty-five years. The funeral services were conducted by 

Record of Ministers. 321 

the Revs. C. K. True and G. W. Woodruff, and the remains 
were interred in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, in Tarrytown, by 
the side of his friend, Stephen Martindale. A head-stone desig- 
nates his grave. 

His brethren, at the ensuing session of the conference, 
put on record an appreciative testimony, in which they 

In all his work he was punctual and patient, firm and affectionate, spar- 
ing no labor or sacrifice to promote the cause of God and the comfort 
of his brethren. As a presiding elder he was much beloved. " He 
was a high-minded, intelligent, and honorable man," of refined taste, 
delicate feelings, with dignified and affable manners. He was faithful 
as a pastor, and particularly devoted to the interests of the Sabbath- 
school. He was often truly eloquent in preaching, and exceedingly 
happy in his illustrations. 8 

Fitch Reed, who was ordained deacon by Bishop Roberts at 
the same time with Matthias, his conference classmate, says of 
him : 

John J. Matthias was a buoyant and cheerful companion, and for his 
earnestness and fidelity, as a preacher and pastor, stood high in the favor and 
praise of all the churches. 4 

# He was a model of devotion and consistency in his domestic 
and private life. Besides attending strictly to family worship, 
it was his life-long custom to retire morning, noon, and at 
evening twilight for secret communion with God. 

A brief extract from one of his sermons may serve as an ex- 
ample of his style. His text was the language of Paul, " I have 
fought a good fight," etc.: 

We behold him, as it were, standing on an eminence, with both worlds in 
view. On the one hand* he looks down the line of his past history, and finds 
dotted thickly on the record, shipwrecks,, encounters with beasts at Ephesus, 
stoning, scourging, hunger, and nakedness ; the contempt and ignominy of 
the world, the multiplied care of churches, and. in fine, all sorts of privations, 
hardships, and frequent deaths. On the other, he beholds the blissful plains 
of Paradise, the river of God, the New Jerusalem with its streets of gold and 
gates of pearl ; thrones, dominions, principalities ; a crown jeweled with 
works of faith, purified and fitted by the hand of Christ. This in reserve for 
him ! O, the rapture of that view ! 5 

'Minutes of Conferences, 1862, p. 80. 

4 Reminiscences, in the Northern Christian Advocate, 1864. 
B Memorial sermon, at the funeral of Stephen Martindale ; published in The 
Methodist, May n, 1861. 

322 Old Sands Street Church. 

His wife, Charlotte, shared the toils and pleasures of his 
itinerant life until suddenly cut down by death, soon after 
their arrival in Africa. She is buried by the side of Cox and 
the other missionaries. 

The widow, Mary C. Matthias, and her only son, (who 
bears his father's name,) are journeying homeward, where a 
happy reunion awaits them at the close of their pilgrimage. 
Mrs. Matthias resides in Newark, N. J John J, Matthias re- 
sides at New Haven, Conn.; is a member of the First Method- 
ist Episcopal Church there, one of its trustees, and superin- 
tendent cf its Sunday-school. He is the author of a service of 
song, entitled "Saint Paul; " also, of a volume, entitled "An 
Experiment in Church Music." 


ohn and Patty Pease, the parents of the Rev Hart 
Foster Pease, were members of a Congregational 
church, and showed their pious care for their son 
by dedicating him to God while an infant in holy baptism. 
He was born in Ashfield, Franklin County, Mass., on the 
27th of December, 181 1. In the same month that he was 
eighteen years of age, he gave his heart to God. In 1830, 
while pursuing his occupation as merchant in the city of 
Rochester, N. Y., he was there received into the Methodist 
Episcopal Church by the Rev Gleason Filmore. 

He prepared for college at Wilbraham, and entered Wes- 
leyan University in 1833, but left during his Freshman year. 
His first license to exhort he received while he was a student 
at Wilbraham Academy in 1832. It was signed by Orange 
Scott, presiding elder. The following year, while teaching 
school in Cheshire, Conn., he received a local preacher's li- 
cense, bearing the signature of the presiding elder, Stephen 
Martindale. These names and dates remind us that Mr. 
Pease was connected in his earlier Christian life with a gen- 
eration whose foremost men have nearly all passed away; 
yet we have never thought of our brother as having attained 
to old age. He seems like a veteran in labors rather than 
in years. 

PASTORAL APPOINTMENTS: 1834, (New York Conf.,) Fair Ha- 
ven, Conn.; 1835, Cheshire; 1836, ordained deacon by Bp. Hedding; 1836- 
1837, Fair Haven; 1838, ordained elder by Bishop Andrew; 1838-1839, Guil- 
ford; 1840-1841, Sharon; 1842-1843, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., 2nd ch. ; 1844-1845, 
Brooklyn, Sands-street, with J. C. Tackaberry, sup'y; 1846-1847, New Ro- 
chelte dr., with R. C. Putney; 1848-1849, (N. Y. E. Conf.,) Stamford, Ct.; 1850- 
1851, New York, Second-street; 1852-1853, New York, Willett-st.; 1854, Essex, 
Ct; 1855, Essex and Deep River; 1856-1857, Redding; 1858-1859, Norwalk, 1st 

324 Old Sands Street Church. 

Ch.; 1860-1861, Bethel; 1862, sup'y, at Bethel ; 1863, Williamsburgh, N.Y., 
North Fifth-street ; 1864-1866, presiding elder, L. I. North Dist; 1867-1870, 
presiding elder, New York Dist.; T871, presiding elder, L. I. North Dist.; 
1872, Brooklyn, Broadway Mission ; 1873-1878, sup'y ; 1878-1880, Berlin, 
Conn.; 1881-1884, superannuated. 

The author has often heard old people in Meriden speak of 
their pleasant recollections of Mr. Pease, the youthful teacher 
and exhorter who was with them fifty years ago. He suc- 
ceeded Leonard M. Vincent in Sands-street, soon after the 
first brick church was built. The older people of the church 
remember vividly his ministry among them. They speak of his 
sermons in that day as always interesting, remarkable for pith 
and point. 

He was granted a supernumerary relation in 1862, in order 
that he might remain a third year at Bethel, Conn., to com- 
plete the building of a church there. 

When Mr. Pease was presiding elder, the author took great 
pleasure in greeting him on his quarterly visits to his charge, 
always enjoyed his sermons exceedingly, and found him a 
warm and true friend, in whom he could safely confide. 

The New York East Conference elected him a delegate to 
the General Conference in 1868, and a reserve delegate in 

Mr. Pease was married by the Rev. Stephen Martindale to 
Miss Louisa L. Ives, of Meriden, Conn., April 3, 1836. Of 
their seven children, Mary L. and Rowena C. are deceased. 
The latter was converted at the age of ten, lived a " singularly 
pure and consistent Christian life of thirty-two years, and died a 
most happy and triumphant death " in Hartford, Conn., July 
19, 1882. She was the wife of Gen. Wm. R. Pease, U. S. A. 1 
The other children are Maronette A., Frances J., Emma Z., and 
Hart E. 

1 Obituary notice in The Christian Advocate. 



he Rev. John Bocking Merwin, D.D., is the only- 
one among the pastors of the Sands-street church 
whose father was pastor there before him. 1 John 
was two years old when his father, Samuel Merwin, be- 
gan to hold forth the word of life .in the "old white 
church." When Dr. Nathan Bangs was re-appointed to 
Sands-street in 1847, he was not in good health, and the as- 
sociate preacher had practically full charge of the station; 
indeed, some pleasantly said that he had a double charge — 
that of Dr. Bangs and the church. Mr. Merwin was then in 
his youthful prime, about thirty-five years of age. His con- 
tinuance in Poughkeepsie for a fourth year was desired, and 
it was arranged that he should remain supernumerary and 
be returned, but for the sake of Dr. Bangs this plan was 
changed at conference, and Mr. Merwin was appointed to 
Brooklyn with him. 

John B. Merwin was born in Albany, N. Y.. May 14, 181 1. 
He gave his heart to God at a very early age, and was re- 
ceived into the old Light-street Methodist Episcopal church 
in Baltimore in September, 1824, by his father who was pas- 
tor there at that time. 

He graduated at Augusta College, Kentucky, in 1832, com- 
pleting the course in three years. Martin Ruter was pres- 
ident Henry B. Bascom was professor of moral science, 
and J. P Durbin, professor of languages when young 
Merwin entered that institution. He accompanied Dr. 
Durbin on his return from a visit to New York, and 

1 See Sketch of the Rev. Samuel Merwin in this book. 

326 Old Sands Street Church. 

was a member of his family. He preached his first sermon at 
a watch-meeting on the last night in 1832, and was soon after 
licensed as a local preacher and recommended to the New York 
Annual Conference by the quarterly conference of Brooklyn. 
The following is his 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1833, (New York Conf.,) White Plains 
cir., N. Y., with R. Seney ; 1834-1835, Smithtown cir., L. I., with W. K. 
Stopford ; 1835, ordained deacon ; 1836, agent for Plattekill Seminary ; 1837, 
ordained elder,— Newington, Conn.; 1838, Newington and Wethersfield ; 
1839-1840. Patchogue, L. I.; 1841-1842, Lenox, Mass.; 1843, Glenham, 
N. Y., and Troy, Second-street; 1844-1845, Poughkeepsie, Cannon- 
street; 1846, ditto, sup'y ; 1847, Brooklyn, Sands-street, with N. 
Bangs; 1848-1849, (New York East Conf.,) Flushing, L. I.; 1850- 
1851* Danbury, Conn.; 1851-1852, Westville ; 1854-1855, Middletown ; 
1856, Bloomfield; 1857, sup'y, agent Wesleyan University; 1858-1859, 
Nichol's Farms, Conn. ; 1860-1861, Watertown ; 1862, New York, 
Ninth-street; 1863*1865, Hempstead, L. I.; 1866-1868, Brooklyn, Grand- 
street; 1869-1870, presiding elder, L. I. North Dist.; 1871-1874, New 
York Dist.; 1875, New York, Forsyth- street ; 1876, Ridgefield, Conn.; 1877, 
Brooklyn, Simpson Ch.; 1878-1880, Hamden, Conn.; 1881-1883, Brooklyn, 
Gothic ch.; 1884, East Norwich, L. I. 

Mr. Merwin received the degree of A.M. from his alma mater 
in 1836, and the Iowa University conferred upon him the de- 
gree of D.D. in 1875. He was a delegate to General Confer- 
ence in 1856, and in 1872 he was first reserve delegate, taking 
his seat on the election of Bishop Andrews. 

A few of the many incidents connected with his long and 
busy career may serve to illustrate the work and character of 
the man. During his pastorate in Flushing, L. I., he organized the 
Methodist Episcopal church in Whitestone. Some years ago 
he performed an " itinerant feat, which has seldom, if ever, been 
paralleled." The Christian Advocate published the following 
account of it : 

After attending the Sing Sing camp-meeting, on a Saturday afternoon, he 
started from his father's, at White Plains, at four and a half o'clock P. M., for 
his Sabbath work (morning and afternoon) in eastern Long Island, the 
whole involving a journey of over one hundred and twenty-four miles and two 
sermons. Driving hastily to New Rochelle, he hoped to go by the evening 
steamer across the sound. On reaching the wharf in time he was met by 
the unwelcome announcement that the steamer would not land, and the alter- 
native was presented of continuing the journey by carriage, or disappointing 
the congregations on the Sabbath. The conclusion was quickly made — to 
meet, if possible, the appointments. The horse was hastily rubbed down and 
the ride renewed. The ninetieth mile was reached by sunrise ; then followed 

Record of Ministers. 327 

a change of horses and a renewal of the ride. The thing was done ! At 
three and a half P. M., Mr. Merwin had, in twenty-three hours, journeyed one 
hundred and twenty-four miles, (by private carriage, 107 ; on foot, 5 ; on 
horseback, 12; total, 124,) and preached twice. What pastor, presiding 
elder, or bishop has ever outdone that ? Does not that beat the fathers ? 

While at Poughkeepsie, in 1846, he was appointed a repre- 
sentative of the Ministerial Union of that city to the Evangelical 
Alliance in London, and he availed himself of the opportunity 
to visit various parts of Europe. The California Christian Ad- 
vocate of May 31, 1877, published the following: 

Rev. J. B. Merwin, of the New York East Conference, gave us a call last 
week. He has gone to do up Yosemite. On returning he may possibly visit 
Oregon. Brother Merwin is a member of the Mission Committee, and is tak- 
ing a deep interest in our missions on this coast— German, Chinese, and 

Dr. Merwin is a bachelor. The dates make it certain that 
he is seventy-two years of age, but he seems more like a man 
of fifty. Time has dealt kindly with him, and, judging from his 
erect form and elastic step, we should say he could even now 
perform an amount of work that some of the youngest of his 
brethren would not care to undertake. Sands-street church 
was re-enforced by about one hundred converts during his min- 
istry there, and it was found, one year later, that of that number 
ninety-seven were members in Sands-street church or some other, 
or were in heaven. In every other charge, save one, God has 
favored his labors with a revival. Few men among us have 
made a more honorable record, or gained a higher place in the 
esteem of their brethren, than the Rev. Dr. Merwin. 


SlEp illiam Hawkins Wood, father of the subject of 
pB-jSiM this sketch, was a native of Wilmington, Dela- 
^Iji^jll ware. He became an importer and manufacturer 
in Baltimore, and an honored local preacher in the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church. His wife, Anna Bond, was the only 
daughter of Thomas Bond, Esq., of Harford County, Md., 
one of the earliest converts to Methodism in America, under 
the labors of Robert Strawbridge. She was sister to the 
Rev. John Wesley Bond, 1 and to the eminent Dr. Thomas E. 
Bond, who was for twelve years editor of "The Christian 
Advocate and Journal." 

The Rev. John Wesley Bond Wood is one of a family 
of five children, He was born in Baltimore, Md., January 
15, 1804. In early childhood he was the subject of deep re- 
ligious impressions, and from the age of seven years confi- 
dently expected to be a preacher of the gospel. From his 
godly mother he received faithful instruction in the Holy 
Scriptures. After the death of his parents, he and one of 
his sisters (now the widow of the Rev. John Poisal, D. D.,) 
found a home with their uncle, Dr. Thomas E. Bond, who 
then resided in Harford County, Md. 

It being intended by his friends that he should study for the 
medical profession, he entered Asbury College, in Baltimore; 
but that institution failed, and the result was a decided change 
in the course of his whole life. He went to sea at the in- 
stance of the merchants of Baltimore, who were determined 
to change the character of the whole mercantile marine, 
and so introduced educated young men into the service. 
After a voyage of twenty months, having doubled Cape 
Horn in safety, he returned to Baltimore, but was induced 
to go again and again, crossing the ocean eighteen times. 
Returning at last from a voyage of several years, he left his 
ship in New York city, determined to revisit his native town. 
He took passage on a coasting clipper which was overtaken in 

' For memorials of this excellent minister see Minutes of Conferences, 1819, 
p. 324, also Methodist Magazine, 1819, p. 284. 


Record of Ministers. 329 

the night by a terrific gale and seemed destined to be driven 
on the shoals and wrecked. The thought came to him, "I 
shall not be lost ; for am I not appointed to preach the Gospel ?" 
Kneeling down he solemnly vowed that his heart and service 
from that moment should be given to God. Instantly his fear 
was gone, and he exclaimed, " Lord, give me the assurance of 
the acceptance of my vow by breaking the gale at midnight." 
Upon this he fell into a sound sleep. At twelve o'clock he was 
startled by the midnight call for the watch below The gale 
was broken. A voice within said, " Remember your vow," and 
he cried, " My Lord, I will." When he reached Baltimore and 
stood upon the shore the same voice was repeated and the same 
answer given. It was Sunday evening. His friends had gone 
to church, a mile distant, and he followed them, still hearing 
the divine voice, " Remember your vow," and answering anon, 
" My Lord, I will." The next morning he followed the advice 
of Mrs. Bond, his aunt — his best Christian counselor, then 
living — took one of the farm horses, and went to camp-meeting 
and there found joy and peace in Christ. This was in the year 
1831, when he was twenty seven years of age. 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1831, supply on Jay dr., N. Y., with 

Orris Pier; 1832, (Troy Conf.,) Chazy and Champlain cir,, N. Y., with E. 

Goss and M. H. Stewart; 1833, Peru cir., with D.Stevens; 1834, ordained 

deacon, — Grand Isle cir., Vt.; 1835, Granville and Hebron cir., with O. E. 

Spicer ; 1836, ordained elder, — Fort Ann cir., N. Y, with J. B. Houghtaling, 

H. W. Steward, and D. Brayton, sup'y ; 1837, ditto, with J. B. Houghtaling, 

and , supply; 1838, East Whitehall and Whitehall Mission, with J. 

Squire; 1839-1840, sup'd ; 1841, located; 1842, (Troy Conf.,) Stowe cir., 

Vt., with S. Hewes ; 1843-1844, (New York Conf.,) Tarrytown, N. Y.; 1845- 

1846, Matteawan; 1847, Flushing, L. I.; 1848-1849, New York, Forsyth- 

street; 1850-1851, Brooklyn, Sands-street ; 1852-1853, Rockaway cir., 

L. I.; 1854, Williamsburgli ; 1855-1856, Brooklyn, Carlton ave.; 1857- 

1858, Sag Harbor; 1859, -Westchester and West Farms, with D. DeVinne, 

sup'y.; i860, (New York Conf.,) Rondout ; 1861, Coxsackie and Baltimore 

Corners, with G. C. Esray ; 1862-1863, Tarrytown ; 1864-1866, Hancock ; 

1867-1868, Goshen ; 1869-1870, Monroe ; 1870-1872, Highland Mills ; 1873- 

1875, West Point ; 1876, chaplain Sing Sing prison ; 1877-1883, sup'y ; 1884, 

On his first charge in the Adirondack Mountains his labors 
were greatly owned of God ; nearly two hundred souls were 
gathered into the fold. A revival of remarkable extent and 
power occurred under his labors on the Hancock circuit. 
Tarrytown and other places were divinely blessed through his 

330 Old Sands Street Church. 

ministry. In Sag Harbor the writer found excellent results of 
his faithful labors there, after he had been gone from that 
charge ten years. 

He was married in 1834 to Miss Juliet C. Ketchum, daughter 
of Benjamin Ketchum, of Plattsburgh, N. Y., whose death — the 
greatest affliction he was ever called to endure — occurred while 
he was among the Sands-street people. He was greatly com- 
forted by their friendly sympathy. 

Mr. Wood is a man of marked individuality. He seems to 
have been fitted by nature and by his long experience as a 
sailor to gam ready access to rough, godless men, and few min- 
isters are able to exert so strong an influence over that class of 
persons. He was doing excellent work among the convicts of 
the Sing Sing prison, when, through political influence, he was 
suddenly removed. He is genial, exceedingly frank, and some- 
times droll in his utterances. One of the oldest preachers in the 
New York Conference, he appears to be enjoying pleasantly the 
evening time of life. 

Juliet Capulet Ketchum was married to J. W- B. Wood 
at the age of nineteen years. She died of consumption, in the 
parsonage of the Sands-street church, in 1852, after suffering 
six years. Living and dying she was the Lord's. 

Of their seven children only four survive. Jennie, the eldest, 
has been her father's housekeeper many years. At her mother's 
death she took charge of three younger children, though but a 
child herself. John Wesley Bond, Jr., has resided for some 
years in Montana. Juliet C. (named for her mother) is the 
widow of the late James Bishop, of New Brunswick, N. J. 
Emma married Henry Malcomson, an English gentleman, a 
merchant, and resides in New York city. 



number of the learned and eloquent pastors of 
Sands-street church are distinctively recognized as 
"self-made men." Among these the Rev Henry 
John Fox, D. D. should be prominently named. 

He was born — the second of a family of nine children — 
in the parish of Sculcoates, Kingston-upon-Hull, England, 
May 13, 182 1. His parents, Thomas and. Sarah (Clarke) Fox, 
were devoted members of the Wesleyan Connection. The 
former lived to be ninety-one years of age. He is buried in 
Columbia, S. C, where he died in 1877. The latter died and 
was buried in Ashland, Greene Co., N. Y., in December, 

Henry J. Fox, when a lad, attended a private academy in 
his native town, conducted by Thomas Ager, Esq. He was 
powerfully awakened under the preaching of Rev. Robert 
Atkin, a distinguished minister of the Established Church, 
but on entering upon a Christian life, he chose to connect 
himself with a small sect of Methodists, of which Dr. Warren 
was the most prominent founder. His class leader was Geo. 
Copkman, Esq, mayor of the town, a local preacher, and fa- 
ther of the distinguished Methodist orator, the Rev. George 
G. Cookman, who was lost in the ill-fated steamer Presi- 
dent, in 1 84 1. 

In 'a short time he left this small seceding body, and united 
with the Wesleyans. Being placed on the "plan" as a local 
preacher at nineteen years of age, he preached his first ser- 
mon Nov. 15, 1840, at Analby, an appointment on the Hull 

Four years later he left England intending to go to Cana- 
da, but was detained in New York by the Rev. George 
Taylor, afterward one of his successors in the Sands-street 
church, who writes: 

S3 2 Old Sands Street Church. 

I invited him to spend the Sabbath with me at Harlem, and preach for me. 
He consented, and his preaching was so simple, so earnest, and so profitable 
to my people, that we felt he ought to give himself wholly to the ministry. 1 

Mr. Taylor introduced him to the Rev. Samuel D. Ferguson, 
who persuaded him to go to Durham, Greene County, N. Y., 
where he was employed for some time as a pastor, the preacher 
in charge being sick. Thus, providentially and unexpectedly, 
he entered upon his public ministry, and his services thence- 
forward are briefly epitomized in the following list of 

APPOINTMENTS : 1844, Durham cir., N. Y., a supply, with J. D. 
Bouton and William C. Smith ; 1845, Prattsville cir., supply, with William 
Bloomer and Wm. C. Smith ; 1 846-1 847, (New York Conf.,) Newfield and 
Plymouth, Conn ; 1848, (New York East Conf.,) ordained deacon ; 1848-1849, 
Farmington ; 1850, ordained elder, — Hartford ; 1851, Hartford, Second ph.; 
1852-1853, Brooklyn, Sands-street ; 1854-1855, Williamsburgh, South 
Fifth-street; 1856, Hempstead, L. I.; 1857-1860, President Ashland Colle- 
giate Institute ; i860, (New York Conf.;) 1861-1862, New York, Forty-third- 
street ; 1863-1865, New York, Central ch. ; 1866-1868, Carmel and Drevv- 
ville ; 1869-1871, (South Carolina Conf.,) Oro, S. C, with W. H. Scott ; 
1872-1873, Charleston, with S. Weston ; 1873-1876, Prof, of English Litera- 
ture and Rhetoric in the University of South Carolina; {877-1878, (New 
England Conf.,) Hyde Park, Mass.; 1878-1881, East Saugus ; 1882-1883, 
Wilbraham ; 1884, North Andover. 

Beginning his ministry with comparatively limited literary 
attainments, Mr. Fox commenced and kept up a rigid course 
of study. He found time on his six-weeks' circuits, with 
twenty-two appointments, to make rapid and thorough advance- 
ment in literature and science. He was honored with the de- 
gree of M.A. by the Wesleyan University in 1857, and %ine 
years later he was made a Doctor in Divinity by Union College. 
About the same time he was elected secretary of the New York 
Educational Society. 

In 1863, in company with Dr. (now Bishop) Foster and the 
Rev. W F Watkins, he spent two weeks in the service of the 
Christian Commission on the battle-field of Gettysburgh. As a 
delegate from the American Branch of the Evangelical Alliance 
he attended a meeting of the World's Alliance, in Amsterdam, 
in 1867. 

He was exposed to great danger during the first years of his 
residence in the South, and experienced no small amount of 

1 Letter to the author. 

Record of Ministers. 333 

suffering and pecuniary loss by the persecutions of the Ku-klux 
Klan. His name appears in the Minutes as secretary of the 
South Carolina Conference. The charge to which he was ap- 
pointed in Charleston was a large church in Wentworth-street. 
The Legislature gave him his position in the university, and he 
held it until the institution was closed. 

Dr. Fox has achieved a good reputation as a lecturer. As a 
writer he is well known by his numerous contributions to The 
Christian Advocate and Zion's Herald. Articles from his pen 
on the Negro, Plagiarism, and Shakespeare, in the Methodist 
Quarterly Review, do credit to his ability. His chief works are 
a " Quadrennial Register of the M. E. Church," of which 10,000 
copies were sold, " The Land of Hope," " The History of our 
Mission in Cape Palmas," "The Student's Commonplace 
Book," and " The Student's Shakespeare." 

His success as a man of letters is believed to be more than 
equaled by his usefulness as a preacher and pastor. Very 
large accessions to the church were the result of his ministry in 
Hartford, Sands-street church, Brooklyn, and Forty-third-st., 
New York. Among those received by him into the Sands-street 
church were Richard Vanderveer, Mrs. Richards, (afterward 
the famous Mrs. Tilton,) also an old man, Joseph Riley, who 
had sat under the preaching of John Wesley. 

Dr. Fox was married to Miss Clarinda S. White, in Ash- 
land, Greene County, N. Y Of their nine children five are 
living at this date, (1883.) Belle Amelia was born in the par- 
sonage of the Sands-street church. Gilbert D., the eldest son, 
has been for seven years secretary to one of the committees of 
the United States Senate. He is a steward of the Metropoli- 
tan M. E. church, in 'Washington, D. C, and a worker in the 
Sunday-school of that church. Henry A., a graduate of the 
South Carolina State University, an attorney-at-law, was in- 
stantly killed by a collision on the Charleston and Savannah 
railroad. Clarence W is engaged in business in the city of 
Boston. Irving P was graduated at the Boston University in 
1883, and is now connected with the Boston Courier. 


he name of the Rev. Levi Stevens Weed, D. D., is 
a household word among all the members and 
friends of old Sands-street church. This excel- 
lent minister was born in Darien, Conn., May 29, 1824. His 
parents moving to Williamsburgh (now Brooklyn, E. D.,) 
and thence to New York, much of his early life was spent 
in those two cities. At that time neither his father nor moth- 
er professed religion, but his mother was ''a truly exemplary 
woman," and later in life became a faithful member of the 

In 1843 the family were living in Durham, Greene coun- 
ty, N. Y Meetings were held under the direction of the 
Rev. Reuben Bloomer; and our friend, then nineteen years 
old, with several others gave his heart to the Lord. It is 
said that before the extra meetings closed, he and another of 
the converts, A. II. Mead, were out on the circuit, filling the 
pastor's appointments. 1 An exhorter's license was given 
him about this time, and he began a course of theological 
studies under the direction of the Rev S. S. Strong. In 1844 
he entered upon the work of preparing for college in the 
Delaware Literary Institute, in Franklin, N. Y While there 
he was licensed as a local preacher. By close application to 
study his health was somewhat impaired, and his earnest de- 
sire for a college training was overborne by the urgent pro- 
test of the older ministers. He says: "They told me it was 
a wicked waste of time while souls were perishing. I yield- 
ed; but it has been the regret of my life." "Yet we doubt," 
says his conference memorial, "if his cherished desire real- 
ized, would have added to the luster of his long and pros- 
perous ministry." 

PASTORAL RECORD: 1845, supply, Catskill dr., N. Y., with E. S. 

1 This statement was made to the author by the Rev. E. S. Hebberd. 


1 <%~/ t 


Record of Ministers. 335 

Hebberd ; 1846, supply, Prattsville cir., with Wm. Bloomer and W. C. Smith ; 
1847, supply, Franklin cir., with Addi Lee; 1848-1849, (New York East 
Conf.,) Southampton, L. I.; 1850, ordained deacon, — Orient ; 1851, Southport, 
Conn.; 1852, ordained elder; 1852-1853, Colebrook River; 1854-1855, 
Brooklyn, Sands-street, with M. B. Bull, sup'y ; 1856-1857, Hartford, 
Conn.; 1858-1859, New Haven, First ch.; 1860-1861, Stamford, jConn.; 1862- 
1863, Brooklyn, Sands-street; 1764-1865, Brooklyn, Summerfield ch.; 
1866-1868, New York, Allen-street ; 1869, Mamaroneck ; 1870-1872, New 
York, John-street; 1873-1874, Brooklyn, Carroll Park; 1875-1877, New 
Haven, First ch.; 1878-1879, Harlem, u8th-street ; 1880, New York, John- 
street ; 1881-1882, Brooklyn, New York Avenue. 

Before coming to Sands-street, as the record shows, he had 
been assigned to small country appointments. While assisting 
the pastor, Henry J. Fox, in a series of extra meetings, he 
manifested so much ability and piety that the brethren of this 
church expressed a strong desire that he might become their 
next pastor, and he was appointed in accordance with their 
wishes. Thenceforward he was always stationed in the most 
prominent appointments in the conference. Three of these— 
Sands-street, First Church, New Haven, and old John-street, 
New York — he served a second term. 

In 1849 he was married to Miss Julia M. Stephenson, daugh- 
ter of P Stephenson, of Coxsackie, N. Y., who after twenty 
months was called to her reward. Two years later he married 
a younger sister of the deceased wife, Miss Cornelia A. Ste- 
phenson. His little girl, an only daughter, aged about four 
years, died in 1855; and in 1880 his wife, who had been the 
light of his home for nearly thirty years, was taken from him. 
While the shadow of this last great affliction was upon him he 
remarked to some of his relatives, " I take up my work as if 
nothing had happened; yet," said he, with a sigh and a tear, 
"every moment of my life I know that something has hap- 
pened." Thus thoroughly was he prepared to sympathize with 
the sorrowful. 

Mr. Weed was remarkably genial and kind toward his minis- 
terial brethren, and they took pleasure in his promotion. He 
united with the New York East Conference at the beginning of 
its history, and wrought nobly within its bounds to the last, 
without a. break or a transfer. By appointment he preached 
the missionary sermon before the conference in 1865, which 
was delivered with rare eloquence and power. The following 
is a brief extract of that discourse : 

336 Old Sands Street Church. 

As I look upon the not-distant future I see devout disciples from our hum- 
ble mission in Foochow threading every province of the " Flowery Kingdom," 
and preaching Christ to the millions of the capital of China itself. I hear the 
words of truth sounding out from Bulgaria, and waking to a new life all of 
Russia from the wilds of Siberia to the palace of the czars. Fropi altars and 
temples which Christian efforts have planted in the very heart of the domain 
of the " man of sin " himself I hear the sweet music of the untrammeled gospel 
as it swells from the classic banks of the " Yellow Tiber " through all the Alps 
made sacred by martyr blood. From the chapels of an unpretending 
worship which the gifts and prayers of the good are even now planting 
on the very soil, and in the metropolitan city where the Huguenots 
were slain, the notes of gospel grace go out over all France, and touch, 
with strange and solemn power, the land of sorrow and of song. From 
Bremen and Copenhagen, and other centers of Christian life which mission 
efforts are now creating, I hear strains sublime borne on every breeze 
over Germanic States, while Scandinavia's old heroic heights send back 
their responses to the now-united song that sweeps from gulf to sea over all 
our new and grander realm. * * * 

I would have every one feel that this is a privileged time in which we live, 
and while continents are trembling to the tread of coming and great events, 
and clouds of distress and the storm of battle are sweeping the nations as the 
thunder-gusts do, only to usher in the sweet serene of a blessed millennial 
day, I long to have every Christian and every Christian minister rise in 
thought and noble living to the real grandeur of his blessed privilege of be- 
ing a co-worker with God in bringing the whole race into loving allegiance to 
our Lord Jesus Christ. 

He was one of the chief speakers at the great centenary- 
celebration — a union meeting of the two New York Confer- 
ences in 1866 — and his address on that occasion has been 
rarely equaled in breadth and beauty and power. 

In 1872 the Indiana Asbury University conferred upon him 
the degree of Doctor in Divinity He represented his annual 
conference in the General Conference of 1880. At the time 
of his death he was chairman of the New York Preachers' 
Meeting and a member of the Board of Managers of the Mis- 
sionary Society. 

On Monday, June 12, 1883, he inquired at the office of The 
Christian Advocate concerning Bishop Foss, who was then in 
a critical condition. He proceeded to the preachers' meeting, 
where he presided as usual. In the afternoon he assisted in 
laying the corner-stone of the Methodist Episcopal church in 
Harlem, where he had been pastor a few years before. On the 
morning of Wednesday, the 14th, he left his home, in Brooklyn, 
apparently in good health, and, hurrying to overtake his friend 
F. G. Smith, he was seen to halt and turn into a grocery store 

Record of Ministers. 337 

on Fleet-street. Leaning against an ice-box, he said, I am 
faint." He settled down upon the floor, and instantly " as no- 
ble a heart ceased to beat as ever dwelt in house of clay." 

At his funeral, in the New York Avenue church, Brooklyn, 
the house was densely packed, and many persons could not ob- 
tain standing room. The ministers who took part in the serv- 
ices were Drs. Kettell, Curry, Goodsell, Sanford, Merwin, and 
Pullman, and the Revs. G. Hollis, T H. Burch, and W T 


Dr. Weed was a man of striking appearance, a little above 
the average height, with broad, square shoulders and erect car- 
riage. His head was of good size, but his features were unusu- 
ally small and delicate, and it was sometimes a matter of re- 
mark that a man with so small a mouth could be so fine an 
orator. His eyes were gray and of a clear expression, his hair 
black and glossy, and his smoothly shaven face gave him the 
appearance of a Roman Catholic priest, for which, it is said, he 
was sometimes taken. Dr. Buckley, in The Christian Advocate, 
wrote thus concerning him : 

He was always a gentleman and absorbed in the work of the ministry, at- 
taining more uniform success than is common to ministers who make frequent 
changes. As a pastor he had no superior. The writer twice followed him, 
first at the Summerfield church, in the city of Brooklyn, and then in Stamford, 
Conn. No neglect of duty, in a single instance, was alleged against him, and 
the personal hold that he had upon many individuals and families, and the 
use which he made of it, evinced the qualities which make the efficient pas- 
tor. * * * 

Conscientious fidelity marked his whole career, conscious painstaking 
devotion to all things, small and great. This, when applied to the improve- 
ment of his powers as a public speaker, showed itself sometimes in a painful 
attention to details of pronunciation. His public efforts, however, were al- 
ways interesting to the great mass of his hearers. It was possible for him to 
surprise even his best friends by an occasional effort of rare excellence. * * * 

He was a special friend of John B. Gough, the temperance orator, who had 
a high opinion of his powers as a speaker, and of the late Dr. Woodruff, 
who requested him on his death-bed to prepare the memorial of his life for 
this paper. 

His sermons were thoughtfully prepared and usually written, 
but he used only brief notes in the pulpit, and preached with 
the ease and animation which belong more particularly to ex- 
temporaneous address. His voice was strong and penetrating, 
not especially musical, but resounded like a trumpet, and 
seemed full of impassioned fervor when conveying the grand 

338 Old Sands Street Church. 

truths of the gospel to the hearts of men. One of his brethren 
writes from an intimate acquaintance with his habits as a 
preacher : 

His subjects, usually practical, were selected and treated with an obvious 
aim to be useful. Tenaciously holding the grand verities of the evangelical 
system, he assumed them as settled points in all his pulpit work, seldom or 
never opening them for an analysis or debate. A worker, even more than a 
thinker, regarding truth rather with a view to immediate practical uses, he 
was never trammeled with doubts, but aimed, by a natural logic, to work such 
truths into the convictions of his hearers, and by fervid natural eloquence to 
impress them upon their hearts. 2 

His great heart was always young, and earnestly enlisted in 
the Sunday-school work. He never lost his interest in the 
Sands-street Sabbath-school, and he was often seen and heard 
at its anniversary gatherings. His attachment to the Sands- 
street church was only equaled by his devotion to the old 
John-street church. No man in later years did more than he 
to promote the honor and usefulness of that venerable home of 
Methodism in New York. His virtues are appropriately com- 
memorated by a marble tablet on the walls of the old church. 

Julia M., his first wife, experienced the pardoning love of 
God in her sixteenth year. She died during the second year 
of her married life, June 21, 1851, leaving a helpless babe ; but 
" every object and interest this side of the grave was commit- 
ted to the care of God. She requested that her husband might 
admit to her room all the neighbors and friends, that they 
might see how a Christian could die." 3 

His second wife, Cornelia Augusta, after six years of in- 
tense suffering from cancer, closed, in Christian triumph, a pure 
and exemplary life, December 17, 1880. Both wives, with the 
husband, sleep in the Greenwood cemetery. Two sons by the 
second marriage are the only surviving members of the family. 

2 Rev. T. II. Burch, in The Methodist. 

3 A. H. Mead, in The Christian Advocate. 

rf«*< fv**C4{ 



ong Island was detached from the old New York 
District in 1840, and thenceforward till 1864, the 
Long Island District, including the entire is- 
land, was a presiding elder's charge. To this field the Rev. 
Buel Goodsell was appointed in 1855, and during his term 
of four years the number of pastoral appointments increased 
from 48 to 58, and the number of members and probationers 
from 8,384 to 11,380. The pastors of Sands-street church 
during this time were Levi S. Weed, John Miley and John B. 
Hagany Mitchell B. Bull was supernumerary pastor with 
Weed and Miley, and Wilbur F. Wat kins was preacher in 
charge for a short time as a supply. 

It is a matter of regret that so few of the facts of Mr. 
Goodsell's history are now within our reach. He was born 
July 25, 1793, * n the town of Dover, Dutchess County, N. Y. 
When about sixteen years of age he professed conversion 
and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in Dover. Zenas 
Covel, the elder John Crawford, and Smith Arnold were the 
preachers on the Dutchess circuit that year. Five years lat- 
er, when not quite twenty -one years of age, he joined the 
New York Conference with Charles W Carpenter, Wm. M. 
Stillwell, and seven other young men. 

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1814, (New York Conf.,) Granville dr., 
Conn, and Mass., with O. Culver; 1815, Stowe dr., Vt., with G. Lyon; 1816, 
ordained deacon,— Plattsburgh dr. , N. Y. with E. Barnett and J. M' Daniel: 
1817, Middlebury, Vt.; 1818, ordained elder,— St. Albans, with J. B. Stratton; 
1819, ditto, with J. Covel. Jr.; 1820-1821, Chazy, N. Y.; 1822, Charlotte dr., 
Vt., with L. Baldwin; 1823-1826, presiding elder, Champlain Dist.; 1827, 
Pittstown' dr., N. Y., with C. Prindle and M. Bates; 1828-1829, Schenectady; 
1830, New York city dr., with S. Luckey, S. Merwin, L. Pease, S. Martin- 
dale, H. Bangs, and S. D. Ferguson; 1831. ditto, with S. Merwin, L. Pease, 
S. Martindale, S. Landon, J. Clark, B. Sillick, and C. Prindle; 1832-1833, 
(Troy Conf.,) Troy; 1834- 183 7, presiding elder, Troy Dist.; 1838-1839, 
(New York Conf.,) New York, John-street; 1 840-1 841, North Newburgh 

Erroneously printed "Fitchtown," in the conference memorial. 

340 Old Sands Street Church. 

1842-1843, White Plains; 1844-1845, Brooklyn, York-street; 1846-1847, 
New York, Willett-street ; 1848-1849, (New York East Conf.,) Norwalk, 
Conn. ; 1850-1851, Hempstead, L. I., N. Y.; 1852-1653, New Rochelle ; 
1854, Brooklyn, Franklin ave.; 1855-1858, presiding elder, Long Island 
Dist.; 1859-1860, Greenpoint ; i86r-i862, Far Rockaway and Foster's 
Meadow ; 1863, East Chester and City Island. 

His prominence among the preachers is indicated by the high 
grade of his appointments, and by his election as General Con- 
ference delegate in 1828, 1832, and 1836. 

After he had traveled as a conference preacher about seven 
years, he was married to Miss Eunice Williams. At thirty 
years of age he was appointed to preside over a district em- 
bracing both sides of Lake Champlain, extending eastward to the 
Green Mountains, and manned by some of the strong men of 
the conference, such as John J. Matthias, James Covel, Jr., 
Noah Levings, and Seymour Landon. While on this Champlain 
District he was sorely bereaved by the death of his wife and 
infant child. He was married on 18th of April, 1827, to Miss 
Adeline Ferris, of Peru, N. Y 

The Carlton avenue (now Simpson) church, of Brooklyn, 
was organized by him in the summer of 1844 ; and, on Sunday, 
July 13, 1845, he dedicated the first chapel erected by that 
society. His conference memorial gives the following account 
of his death : 

He went to his appointment, [East Chester,] the next Sabbath after re- 
ceiving it, and preached with great power, greatly exciting the hopes and 
strengthening the faith of the brethren. He returned [to Long Island] the 
next day (Monday) for his family and effects. The latter part of the same 
week he set out with his wife and daughter in his own carriage for their new 
home, was arrested by disease on the way, called on his friend, Dr. Van Ness, 
[once a member of Sands- street church,] in Brooklyn, where he received all 
the attention that affection and medical skill could suggest, and after lingering 
about a fortnight, amid alternate hopes and fears for the results, he died in 
great peace and holy triumph on the 4th of May, [1863, almost seventy years 
of age. ] 2 

He is buried in Cypress Hills cemetery. His record in the 
church is that of "a laborious, faithful, and successful servant 
of the Lord Jesus Christ," a scholar of respectable attainments, 
and a preacher of marked ability, more thoughtful and pro- 
found than his memoir in the Conference Minutes would imply, 
and at the same time often producing a marvelous emotional 

2 Minutes of Conferences, 1864, p. 89. 

Record of Ministers. 341 

effect upon his hearers. He did the work of an evangelist, and 
made full proof of his ministry, and many are the stars in his 

Eunice Williams, the first wife of Buel Goodsell, was born 
December 4, 1797. She was left fatherless at ten years of age. 
At nineteen she sought the Lord at a camp-meeting near her 
home, and five years later she was married to Mr. Goodsell. 
She departed this life on 16th of March, 1826, aged twenty- 
nine years. A circumstantial account of her farewell to earth 
was written by her husband and published as a magazine 
article. 3 It is a most affecting story of resignation and faith 
and triumph in the last hours of life. After comforting her 
weeping husband, she called her eldest daughter to her bedside, 
and imparted to the child a dying mother's blessing. Then 
followed most impressive appeals to others : 

She said: " I shall soon begone, I must improve the moments that remain." 
She began by addressing herself to her mother, saying, " Mother, I expect to 
meet you in heaven ; pa, too. Tell my sisters and brothers I expect to meet 
them in glory. Tell the rest of the family they have a heaven to gain and a 
hell to shun." After this she addressed an exhortation to every one present ; 
and O ! with what words of fire and feeling did she exhort some of her uncon- 
verted acquaintances to seek religion and prepare for death, * * * adding, " I 
shall soon be with holy angels, with the great and good God, with the holy and 
blessed Redeemer ! Come, Lord Jesus ! come quickly ! Glory ! glory ! glory ! " 

Besides the infant, deceased, there are two daughters by the 
first marriage, Lucy Elliott, who married Jordan Searing, of 
Brooklyn, and Elizabeth Williams, who married James H. Chip- 
man, of Albany. 

Mr. Goodsell's second wife, the faithful partner of his minis- 
try for thirty-five years, is now in the twenty-second year of her 
widowhood. She bore him seven children, the eldest of whom, 
Charles Buel, was graduated from the University of the City of 
New York, studied medicine, enlisted in the volunteer army, 
was wounded, and at the time of his death, in 1867, in his thirty- 
eighth year, was principal of a school in Yonkers, N. Y The 
second son, Henry, died in infancy. Julia Adeline married 
Dr. Geo. A. Dewey, of Brooklyn, N. Y The Rev. George Henry 
Goodsell and the Rev. Daniel Ayers Goodsell, D.D., are useful and 
honored members of the New York East Conference. Mary C. 
married Thomas R. Ball, of Brooklyn, N. Y. 

8 Methodist Magazine, 1826, p 293. 


ohn and Anna (Miller) Miley, the parents of the 
Rev. John Miley, D. D., LL. D., were natives of 
Pennsylvania. Their ancestrv was German. They 
were highly respectable people and Methodistic in their 
creed. In the year 1810 they emigrated from their home 
near Brownsville, Pa., and settled in Butler County, a little 
way east of Hamilton, in the state of Ohio. There John Mi- 
ley was born and reared on his father's farm. His father 
died when he was twelve years of age, and his mother when 
he was eighteen. He is now the only surviver of the family 
of five sons and two daughters. 

When a boy he manifested an unusual taste for reading 
and study, and was sent to such schools as the neighborhood 
furnished, and later to a good school in Hamilton. At length 
he entered Augusta College, Kentucky, where Drs. romlin- 
son, Bascom, M'Cown, and Trimble were professors, and 
where he was graduated in 1838. One other Sands-street 
pastor, J. B. Merwin, was graduated at the same college six 
years earlier, and one of the same professors, H. B. Bascom, 
was a member of the faculty in Merwin's time. 

Dr. Miley was converted in Hamilton, Ohio, in his fif- 
teenth year, under the ministry of the late Rev. John. A. 
Baughman. The church was in an active state at the time, 
but there was no special revival. Young Miley improved 
his gifts in the meetings, and was licensed to exhort in 1833, 
and to preach in 1834. 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1838, (Ohio Conf.,) Batavia dr., O., with 
D. Whitcomb; 1839, Cincinnati, Western charge, with W. H. Raper; 1840, 
ordained deacon — Hamilton and Rossville circuit; 1841, Chillicothe circuit; 
1842, ordained elder — ditto, with John Barton; 1843-1844, Columbus; 1S45- 
1846, Zanesville, 7th-street; 1847, Cincinnati, Wesley Chapel; 1848-1849, pro- 
fessor of languages and mathematics in Wesleyan Female College; 1850-1851, 

Record of Ministers. 343 

Cincinnati, Morris chapel ; 1852-1853, (New York East Conf.,) Brooklyn, 
Pacific-street ; 1854-1855, Williamsburgh, South Second-street ; 1856-1857, 
Brooklyn, Sands-street, with M. B. Bull, sup'y ; 1858-1859, Danbury, Conn.; 
i860, New York, Forsyth-street ; 1861, ditto, with E. L. Janes; 1862-1863, 
Bridgeport and Fairfield, Conn.; 1864-1865, New Rochelle, N. Y.; 1866-1868, 
(New York Conf.,) Newburgh; 1869-1871, Sing Sing; 1872, Peekskill, St. 
Paul's ; 1873-1884, professor in Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, N. J. 

He was married, June 9, 1840, to Olive C. Patterson, in Ba- 
tavia, Ohio. His ministerial brethren elected him to the Gen- 
eral Conferences of 1864, 1872, and 1876. The Ohio Wesleyan 
University conferred upon him the degree of D.D. in 1859, and 
the degree of LL.D. in 1872. 

As preacher, pastor, and teacher, Dr. Miley has proved him- 
self to be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. Re- 
vivals have attended his labors on several charges. He is now 
faithfully serving the church in one of those eminent and re- 
sponsible positions which only the best and ablest men can 
acceptably fill. 

Dr. Miley has written extensively for various periodicals, and 
is the author of two important works, which have been widely 
read and highly commended. The first is entitled " Class- 
Meetings," and the second, "The Atonement in Christ." 

Olive Chichester, his wife, died in Madison, N. J., August 
29, 1874. " She was rich in the best womanly endowments, true 
and good, intelligent, bright, full of kindly sympathy, but for 
many years feeble in health. During her extreme suffering 
she exhibited, in a remarkable measure, the sweet graces of the 
Christian life." x She is buried in a beautiful cemetery in 
Morristown, N. J.' Three months previous to her death a 
beloved Christian daughter, a teacher in Dr. Van Norman's 
school in New York city, passed on to the heavenly rest. The 
entire list of the children is as follows : Annie Brooks, Olive 
Comfort, Sallie Foster, John William. 

Editorial note in The Christian Advocate. 



s a supply for a brief season, the Rev. Wilbur Fisk 
Watkins, D.D.,when a very young man, was pastor 
of the Sands-street church. A recently-published 
sketch contains the following account of his birth and 

childhood : 

He first saw the light on the gth of July, 1836, in the city of Baltimore, 
Md. His early youth was spent in that city, where his father hoped to es- 
tablish him at a proper time in a mercantile life. But in his young boyhood 
Wilbur was noted for his religious impressionability and exemplary con- 
duct, and his dreams and hopes for life were quickly centered on the 
ministry. 1 

After studying at the Govanstown Academy, he entered 
Dickinson College when sixteen years of age ; but severe appli- 
cation to study undermined his health, and for this reason he 
left college at the close of his sophomore year, and being less 
than eighteen years of age, began his ministerial career as a 
junior supply on one of the circuits in the mountains of Penn- 
sylvania. He rode horseback with saddle-bags, after the fash- 
ion of the fathers. The biography already referred to says: 

This exercise in the bracing air of the mountains brought back the wasted 
vigor, and imparted additional strength, developing the slight youth into a 
sturdy and robust man. His first sermon was preached on Manor Hill, Pa., 
from the text, " I have fought a good fight," etc., thus beginning his procla- 
mation of the good news of God by anticipating the close. 

This brings us to his 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1854, supply in the Allegheny Mts.; 
1855, (Bait. Conf.,) Manor Hill cir.. Pa., with J. W. Haughawout; 1856, 
West Harford cir., Md., with F. Macartney; 1857-1858, "located," 
student in Biblical Institute, Concord, N. H.; 1858, (April and May,) 
Brooklyn, Sands-street, supply; 1858, (several months,) Lawrence, 
Mass., supply; 1859, (New York East Conf..) Mamaroneck, N. Y.; i860, 
ditto, with N. Tibbals, sup'y ; 1861, ordained deacon ; 1861-1862, New 

1 Hanson Place Quarterly, October, 1883. Sketch by the Rev. Charles A. 
Tibbals, . 


Record of Ministers. 345 

York, Twenty-seventh-street ; 1863-1865, Brooklyn, Washington street ; 1866- 
1868, Brooklyn, Hanson Place; 1869-1870, New Haven. Conn., First ch.; 
1S71, withdrew ; 1871, ordained deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church 
by Bp. Littlejohn, of Long Island,— assistant minister, St. James Church, 
Brooklyn, in charge of St. Barnabas Mission — later in the same year, ordained 
priest— rector, St. Barnabas; 1872-1875, rector of the Church of the Epiph- 
any, Washington, D. C; 1876-1880, rector of Christ Church, Baltimore, 
Md.; 1881-1884, rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, New York. 

As the " boy preacher " in Pennsylvania and Maryland, it is 
thought that " he enjoyed the sweetest notoriety of his life ; " 
but, being conscious of the need of a systematic theological 
training, he stepped aside from the conference and entered the 
theological school in Concord, N. H. There the author formed 
his acquaintance, heard him preach, and spent many pleasant 
hours in his company. 

In the midst of his theological course Mr. Watkins visited 
Brooklyn, and was invited to address the Juvenile Missionary 
Society of the Sands-street church on the first Sabbath in April, 
1858. That was the spring of the "great revival." It hap- 
pened that year that the New York Conference met in May, 
several weeks after the session of the New York East Confer- 
ence. Dr. Miley, of the latter, was the retiring pastor ; Dr. 
Hagany, of the former, was the coming pastor. Services were 
held in Sands-street every night. Mr. Watkins preached sev- 
eral times during the week succeeding the missionary anniver- 
sary, and considerable interest was manifested. The pulpit 
being vacant, and this young and talented minister being on the 
ground, the official board of Sands-street church passed very 
complimentary resolutions concerning Mr. Watkins, and peti- 
tioned the faculty at Concord to grant him leave of absence 
until Dr. Hagany's transfer. That petition was granted, and, 
by appointment of the presiding elder, Buel Goodsell, he was 
in charge of Sands-street church for a few weeks. He preached 
every night during the week and twice on Sundays, and there 
were many conversions. 

His work at Sands-street led to his invitation to the church 
in Mamaroneck. Under his administration a new church was 
built at the latter place, and Methodism received a new im- 
pulse. While there, in i860, he was married at the age of twenty- 
four to Miss Esther Griffin, daughter of the late Schure- 
man Halstead, one of the most eminent Methodist laymen of 
New York. During his pastoral term in the Washington-street 

346 Old Sands Street Church. 

church, as the successor of Dr. De Hass, that church nearly 
reached its zenith in respect to members and strength. In 
Hanson Place church he followed the Rev. George W Wood- 
ruff, and his ministry was there, as elsewhere, a very marked 
success. He was prostrated by a severe illness while serving 
this church, but a three-months' stay in the West Indies re- 
stored his health. 

An Episcopalian rector, who likewise was formerly a Method- 
ist pastor, gives the following history of the change which took 
place in Mr. Watkins' church relations : 

From Hanson Place Mr. Watkins went, in response to a call, to the First 
Methodist Episcopal Church of New Haven, Conn., where he was admired 
and beloved as pastor and preacher, as he had been in all places where he 
had exercised those holy offices. But here a change was made in his views 
and convictions which was destined to alter his whole after-life. It was not 
suddenly or quickly done, but rather it was the expression of thoughts and 
purposes which had been growing within him for years. Although so re- 
markably successful in his work, and to all appearances so admirably adapted 
to it, Mr. Watkins had for years been feeling less and less at home in the 
Methodist connection. It was in New Haven that the conclusion forced 
itself upon him that if he were to make the change, of which he had thought 
so long and earnestly and prayerfully, it must be done at once, without fur- 
ther delay. 

This is not the place to enter into any discussion upon the reasons of the 
departure of Mr. Watkins from the Methodist communion, and his entrance 
into the Protestant Episcopal Church. Suffice it to say that it was upon no 
grounds of selfish expediency, nor because of the friction of the itinerancy, 
but upon conscientious grounds. 2 

In Brooklyn he took charge of a small mission ; lots were 
purchased, a chapel erected, and a prosperous Sun'dav-school 
and congregation gathered. As rector of the Church of the 
Epiphany he ministered to the largest congregation, with one 
exception, (Metropolitan Methodist,) in the city of Washington, 
and numbered among his hearers some of the first men of the 
nation. Here he was again prostrated, but restored by rest and 
a European tour. While serving Christ Church, in Baltimore, 
he received from William and Mary College in Virginia the de- 
gree of Doctor in Divinity. He wrote from Baltimore to the 
Bibhothean Fraternity— composed of his earlier friends and 
associates in the Biblical Institute— assembled in their triennial 
re-union, that he warmly cherished the old fraternal feeling, 

2 The Rev. C. A. Tibbals, in " Hanson Place Quarterly," October, 1883. 

Record of Ministers. 347 

fully believed in evangelical Christian work, stood by Moody 
in the revival in Baltimore, and had established a weekly prayer- 
meeting in his church, largely attended by persons converted 
in the Moody meetings. 

In his present parish he is successor to the younger Dr. 
Tyng, and here his former popularity and usefulness are, if pos- 
sible, surpassed. 

Dr. Watkins is a fascinating speaker, engaging in his appear- 
ance, easy and graceful in manner, with a voice of uncommon 
melody, and a fluency rarely excelled. To quote Mr. Tibbals 
again : 

As a speaker, Dr. Watkins possesses natural gifts of rare excellence, which 
have been finely developed by cultivation. His style of composition, though 
in the beginning of his career florid and highly rhetorical, has become, by 
intellectual growth, terse and nervous to a marked degree. Full of energy, 
his thoughts come forth in clear-cut sentences, and by an impressive and 
fascinating delivery, are impressed upon the mind, never to be forgotten. 
At times, carried away by the grandeur or solemnity of his theme, our 
preacher rises to flights of eloquence, startling in their power and beauty. 
And so he is -said to be in the best sense the most popular preacher in the 
communion of which New York can boast. His social qualities are equally 
delightful and engaging. His genial cordiality, united to unusual conversa- 
tional powers, his kindly humor, and noble genorosity, all combine to make 
friends for him every-where, and attach them with a genuine and lasting en- 
thusiasm. Dr. Watkins' fondness for and interest in young men are pro- 
verbial. He is always befriending, helping, and attracting to himself young 
men, over whom he exerts the best possible influence. 

His estimable wife, Esther G. (Halstead), " entered into 
rest" December 16, 1884. From her father's home, which 
echoed with Methodist shout and song, she passed well-trained 
into the position of an itinerant's wife, where she was happy and 
useful; yet she heartily concurred with her husband in his latter 
choice as to their church relations. One year ago Mr. Tibbals 
wrote concerning the children : 

The eldest, Wilbur Fisk, Jr., is a deacon in the church, and at present 
(1883) assisting his father. He is a young man of bright promise and of 
studious habits, devoted to his calling. The second son, S. Halstead, is study- 
ing in preparation for holy orders in the Berkeley Divinity School, at Middle- 
town, Conn. The third, Thomas Coke, is a young lad who looks forward to 
a mercantile life. The youngest are two charming girls ; the elder is just 
budding into sweet girlhood, and the other a child of seven years. One 
child, Ruth, has passed on to make heaven more attractive to this family, who 
enjoy in their happy life a taste of that love which is the gate to the Paradise 
of God. 



he Rev. John Bishop Hagany, D.D., the much es- 
teemed pastor of the Sands-street church in 1848 and 
1849, was successor to Dr. Miley. He was born in 
Wilmington, Del., August 26, 1808. His father was a 
Methodist local preacher, a devout man, and somewhat over- 
strict and severe in the government of his family Becoming 
restless under discipline, John, at two different times, ran away 
from home to try the fortunes of a sailor's life. The father's 
prayers were answered at length, and his heart made glad by 
the conversion of the young man at the age of nineteen, and his 
entrance upon the work of a traveling preacher at the age of 

ITINERANT RECORD : 1831, (Phila. Conf.,) Talbot dr., Md. f with 
M. Hazel and B. Andrew; 1832, Port Deposit cir., with Thos. M'Carroll ; 1833, 
ordained deacon, — Elkion; 1834-1835, Easton, Pa., ordained elder in 1835 ; 
1836, (New Jersey Conf.,) Burlington, N. J.; 1837, (Phila. Conf.,) Philadelphia, 
Kensington ch.; 1838-1839, Elkton, Md.; 1840, Pottsville and Minersville, Pa.; 
1841-1842, Philadelphia, St. George's, with E. Cooper, sup'y; 1843-1844, Phila- 
delphia, Ebenezer; 1845-1846, Middletown, Del.; 1847-1848, Pottsville, 1st 
ch., Pa.; 1849-1850, Philadelphia, Trinity; 1851-1852, (New York Conf.,) 
New York, Vestry-street ; 1853-1854, New York, Mulberry-street; 1855-1856, 
Yonkers ; 1857, New York, Sullivan-street; 1858-1859, (New York East 
Conf.',) Brooklyn, Sands-street ; 1860-1861, (New York Conf.,) New York, 
St. Paul's ; 1 862-1 863, New York, Bedford-street ; 1 864-1 865, New York, 

His pastoral term was duplicated in Elkton, in Pottsville, and 
in the Mulberry-street charge, New York, after it had become 
St. Paul's. His stations were six years in Philadelphia and a 
little over nine years in New York city. He was a member of 
four different annual conferences. While in the Philadelphia Con- 
ference he was the friend and associate of George R. Crooks, Will- 
iam H. Gilder, John A. Roche, John S. Inskip, John Kennaday, 

Record of Ministers. 349 

and the venerable Ezekiel Cooper ; all of whom, either before 
or afterward, were prominently connected with the Methodism 
of Brooklyn and New York. His conference memorial says : 

No man among us was more uniformably acceptable to the people, or re- 
tained to the last a more controlling power in the pulpit. * * * As a Chris- 
tian, he was devout without the ostentation of superior piety. * * * As a 
preacher, Dr. Hagany possessed the advantage of a fine physique, a voice of 
extraordinary compass and sweetness, and a quiet self-poise which always 
rendered him a most agreeable and captivating speaker. * * * His sermons 
were rarely thrilling, but always pleasing, and sometimes overwhelmingly 
emotional. * * * In the social circle he shone the brightest ; as a companion 
one of the pleasantest, and as a conversationalist racy and sparkling ; yet he 
never forgot or forsook the dignity of the minister. 1 

His familiar friend, the Rev. Dr. George R. Crooks, contrib- 
utes the following testimony : 

Dr. Hagany was an eloquent preacher. He had a sweet-toned voice, a calm 
rather than a fervent temperament, a quick, tender sympathy, by which he 
was readily affected himself, and could readily affect others to tears. His 
memory was retentive, and enabled him to command instantly all his re- 
sources. In the early Methodist literature and the English classics of the sev- 
enteenth century he was unusually well-read, and his citations from his favorite 
authors pleasantly spiced his conversation. Withal there was a vein of humor 
running through his speaking and writing which gave a flavor to both. His 
literary remains consist chiefly of essays contributed to religious and other pe- 
riodicals. One of these, on John Wesley, furnished to Harper's Magazine, 
is one of the most striking characterizations of the great reformer extant. 2 

Dr. Hagany is elsewhere described as " a writer of force, 
exquisite polish, humor, and pathos." 3 

While pastor in New York and Brooklyn it was his uniform 
habit to. dine once or twice a week at the house of Fletcher 
Harper, and usually in company with his choice friends, Drs. 
Milburn, Prime, Stevens, and M'Clintock. Dr. Stevens, on 
meeting a daughter of Dr. Hagany in Switzerland years- after- 
ward, recalled those pleasant hours of conversation, assuring the 
lady that her father's genial and sparkling humor was the very 
life of.those meetings. 

Dr. Hagany's death was sudden and unexpected. He 
preached to his congregation on the last Sunday in June, 1865, 
from the text, " Let me die the death of the righteous, and let 

1 Minutes of Conferences, 1866, p. 73. 
M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopedia, 
8 Simpson's Cyclopedia. 

35° Old Sands Street Church. 

my last end be like his," and proposed to resume the interest- 
ing subject the next time he preached. In the evening he was 
too unwell to go into the pulpit. Three days afterward, Wed- 
nesday, June 28, he sat reading aloud to his wife some passages 
from the sermons of the Rev Jonathan Seed, an old favorite 
of John Wesley, when suddenly he was seized with a spasm of 
pain in the heart, the book dropped from his hand, he leaned 
forward upon the table, and almost instantly expired. He had 
nearly completed his fifty-seventh year, and the thirty-fourth 
of his ministry. 

Dr. Crooks preached his funeral sermon in the Thirtieth- 
street Methodist Episcopal church, and his remains were carried 
to their resting-place in the Wilmington and Brandywine cem- 
etery, Wilmington, Del. His grave is marked by a white mar- 
ble tomb-stone on which is inscribed the text of his last 

His wife, Caroline S. (Ford,) was, previous to their mar- 
riage, a resident of Elkton, Md. She died in the month of Au- 
gust, 1877, aged sixty years, and is buried by the side of her 

One of their two daughters, Mary, wife of John E. Fay, 4 died 
in the year 1876; the other, Emma, is the wife of Mr. Henry 
Bartlett, of Brooklyn, N. Y 

See account of the Fays in Book III. 





bright star in the galaxy of the Sands-street pastors 
was the Rev. Bernard Harrison Nadal, D.D., 
succ essorof Dr. Hagany. Bernard Nadal, his father, 
was a native of Bayonne, France. He was very early 
placed in training for the Roman priesthood, but when a lad of 
twelve years he threw down his books in the street, ran away 
from his parents, and came to the United States. As we ob- 
serve concerning our beloved and honored Kennaday, and De 
Vinne, and others prominently connected with the Sands-street 
church, we see here also another marked illustration of the 
fact that the Roman Catholic Church not only is now, but has 
been for generations, losing her children and her children's 
children, and furnishing Protestantism with some of her best 
and grandest champions. From Dr. Buttz we quote the follow- 
ing additional statement concerning the elder Nadal : 

He was married twice ; his second wife, whose maiden name was Rachel 
Harrison, became the mother of three children, Bernard being the 

The father died five months previous to Bernard's birth. 
The boy's maternal grandfather was a man of decided moral 
convictions. He freed all his seventy-five slaves, although they 
constituted the greater part of his wealth. Bernard's mother was 
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from her child- 
hood — a woman "of much intelligence and force of character." 
teaching school and making many sacrifices to support her 
children respectably. From 182 1 to her death she resided with 
her brother in Hookstown, Md., five miles from Baltimore. 

Bernard Harrison Nadal was born in Talbot County. Md., 
March 27, 1812. While very young he entered the employ 

352 Old Sands Street Church. 

of a chemist and liquor merchant in Baltimore. At seventeen 
he was apprenticed to a saddle-maker, John Bear by name, in 
Hanover, Pa. While there, at the age of twenty, he found the 
pearl of great price. He began the study of Latin, learning 
the paradigms and rules from his book on a little frame before 
him, while his hands and eyes were occupied in stitching sad- 
dles. He took little interest in his work, and thought he had 
missed his calling. Leaving this place, he was hired as a clerk 
in a store in Woodstock, Va. A young lawyer gave him assist- 
ance in his mathematical studies. The next we know of him 
he has entered the traveling ministry. 

CONFERENCE RECORD : 1835, (Baltimore Conf.,) Luray cir., Va., 
with M. Goheen ; 1 836-1 837, St. Mary's cir., Md., with W. S. Evans,— or- 
dained deacon in 1837 ; 1838, Bladensburgh cir., with F. M'Cartney ; 1839, 
ordained elder, — Baltimore city station, with John Bear, G. Morgan, W. B. 
Edwards, and T Myers ; 1840, ditto, with I. Bear, C. B. Tippett, John A. 
Henning, and T. Myers; 1841-1842, Lewisburgh, Va.; 1843, Lexington cir., 
with W. Krebs ; 1844, ditto, with F H. Richey ; 1845-1846, Baltimore, Co- 
lumbia-street ; 1847-1848, Carlisle, Pa.; 1849, agent Baltimore Conf. Female 
College ; 1850-1851, Baltimore, High-street ; 1852, Baltimore city station, 
with John Poisal, S. Register, and E. A. Gibson ; 1853, ditto, with S. M'Mul- 
lin, S. Register, and T. A. Morgan ; health poor, visited Europe ; returning, 
supplied the pulpit of Dr. Duncan's Presbyterian church ; 1854, appointed 
(sup'y) to Baltimore city station, but continued to supply the Presbyterian 
church ; same year appointed Prof, of History and English Literature in In- 
diana Asbury University ; 1855, (North Indiana Conf.,) retaining his position 
as professor ; 1857, (Baltimore Conf.,) remaining at the university during 
the first part of the year ; last part, presiding elder, Roanoke Dist., Va. ; 
1858-1849, Washington, D. C, Foundry church ; 1860-1861, (New York 
Ea>t Conf.,) Brooklyn, Sands-street; 1862-1863, New Haven, First 
church ; 1864-1865, (Baltimore Conf.,) Washington, D. C, Wesley Chapel ; 
1866-1867, (Philadelphia Conf.,) Philadelphia, Trinity ; 1868-1871, Professor 
of Historical Theology in Drew Theological Seminary. 

When he came to travel his first circuit he realized some ad- 
vantage from having been an apprentice, for he was able to 
make his own saddle. During his second year in Lewisburgh, 
Va., he was married to Miss Sarah Jane Mays, daughter of 
John Mays, Esq., of that place. During the years he was sta- 
tioned in Carlisle, having previously made preparation to enter 
an advanced class in Dickinson College, he read up the entire 
course, was examined, and took the degree of A.B. in 1848. 
This he is said to have done " without neglecting any of the 
proper duties of his office." 

While at the Indiana Asbury University he was the associate 

Record of Ministers, 353 

of Dr. Curry, who speaks very highly of his ability, thorough- 
ness, and efficiency as an instructor of young men. He received 
the degree of D.D. from Dickinson College in 1859, nine years 
after his graduation at that institution. 

His presence in Washington amid the closing scenes of the 
war, and his influence both in public and in private, are be- 
lieved to have been of great value to the cause of the Union. 
He enjoyed the confidence of President Lincoln and other fore- 
most men of the nation, and was recognized as a stanch sup- 
porter of the Union. His biographer says : 

He preached the funeral sermon of Governor Hicks, of Maryland, in which 
he portrayed his excellent services to the nation in her hour of peril ; and 
while at all times he maintained his views of right with great conscientious- 
ness, yet he secured the respect of those from whose principles and aims he 
was compelled to dissent. 1 

His position as professor in Drew Theological Seminary he had 
held only about two years when he speedily followed his friend 
and associate, Dr. M'Clintock, to the world of blessed rewards. 

He first complained of indisposition on Thursday of the 
week preceding his decease, but no alarm was felt either by 
himself or his family until the succeeding Sunday. Then it 
was found that his old chronic complaint, a disease of the kid- 
neys, without causing much pain or prostration, had really weak- 
ened his constitution to such an extent that congestion of the 
lungs and brain seemed to be inevitable. When informed of his 
extremely critical condition he replied promptly that he had 
left the issue entirely with the Lord. As the evening advanced 
he gradually sunk into a stupor, from which he did not awake. 
Thus on Monday morning, June 20, 1870, in the village of Mad- 
ison, N. J., at the age of fifty-eight, Dr. Nadal came suddenly to 
the end of his race, " dying ' in warm blood,' running at the top 
of his speed, but he failed not, for he gained the prize of his 
high calling." 2 He was buried in the Laurel Hill cemetery, in 

Dr. Wm. M. Punshon, in his memorable address before the 
General Conference, in Brooklyn, a few months after the death 
of Dr. Nadal, assigned him a prominent place among the re- 
cently crowned victors of whom he spoke. He said : 

1 Dr. Buttz in " New Life Dawning." p. 36. 
s Minutes of Conferences, 1871, p. 47. 

354 OM Sands Street Church. 

And then I think of Jolin M'Clintock, that anax andron* almost an Ad- 
mirable Crichton in versatility of attainment, Melanchihon in tenderness, 
and Luther in courage, but all whose wise, rare gifts he cast at the feet of him 
who was the Man of Sorrows, but upon whose head are many crowns ; of 
Nadal, who dropped so soon after his friend that it seemed as if, in preparing 
his memoir, he had got to long so much for nearer communion that he must 
needs ascend to join him in the presence of the Master whom they both loved. 

Bishop Foster mourned for him as his " dear Nadal," and 

penned a beautiful tribute, in which he said : 

To rare beauty of mind he added the superior charm of perfect candor and 
unflinching bravery. He was no trimmer. The church had in him a true and 
faithful son, always ready to do valiant service. But he was no bigot ; his 
catholicity was broad and genial ; many of his most attached friends were 
found in other churches than his own. 4 

In the pulpit Dr. Nadal was instructive, convincing, persua- 
sive, and often eloquent. In doctrinal statements and opinions 
he was decidedly evangelical and Methodistic in the best sense 
of those terms. In his early ministry he often wrote and deliv- 
ered his sermons verbatim. Later in life he quite frequently 
used his manuscript, but always with good effect. 

He was oppressed by a conviction, which he frequently and 
strongly expressed to his nearest friends, that he was not adapted 
to the itinerancy — that he might have accomplished vastly more 
good in the settled ministry ; yet his love for Methodist theol- 
ogy led him to decline very flattering invitations to become a 
permanent pastor of a Calvinistic church. 

He attained a high rank among educated men, and may be 
cited as a marked example of successful achievement by dili- 
gent application in spite of great disadvantages. " He loved 
knowledge for its own sake." The trustees of the Drew Theo- 
logical Seminary published the following : 

We desire to record our sense of his eminent abilities as a scholar, a 
preacher, a writer, and a professor ; in all of which respects he has made a 
marked impression on the students, and left a brilliant example. 6 

Dr. Nadal attained his chief pre-eminence as a writer. As 
his brethren testify — 

The range of his writings included theology, ethics, politics, social life, 
nature, and art ; and each was treated in a masterly way. Lectures, addresses, 
sermons, newspaper editorials, were continually pouring from his tireless pen. 6 

3 Prince or king of men — avat; avSpuv. 

4 Introduction to " New Life Dawning," p. 7. 

6 Extract from a resolution published in The Christian Advocate. 
6 Memoir in Conference Minutes. 

Record of Ministers. 355 

A posthumous volume, entitled " New Life Dawning and 
Other Discourses," accompanied by an excellent memoir from 
the pen of the Rev. Dr. H. A. Buttz, has attracted considerable 

The Rev. L. M. Vernon, in The Christian Advocate, ascribes 
to Dr. Nadal a " marvelous analytic power," " glowing imagina- 
tion," and " instinctive profundity of thought," while his " heart 
was a glowing furnace that warmed to blood-heat every thought 
of the brain." Dr. Crooks classes him with those " who ripen 
slowly, and have a long period of fruitage." Another, who 
knew him intimately, writes : 

His religion tinged all the habits of life as well as his duties. * * * The 
following 'resolutions found in his diary, supposed to have been written about 
1865, show the practical character of his mind, as well as his earnestness in 
improvement : " I promise, God helping, the following, namely : 1. To do 
my best not to lose my temper ; 2. Not to smoke ; 3. To eat nothing for sup- 
per beyond bread and butter ; 4. To try to be in bed before eleven o'clock ; 
5. To visit more diligently. — B. H. N." " I further promise, by the help of 
God through Christ, never to speak favorably of myself, except to my most 
intimate friends, and sparingly even to them. — B. H. N." How this simple 
record, intended for no eye but his own, reveals his character. 1 

The same writer describes his person and manner thus : 

Dr. Nadal was about five feet seven inches in height ; though short, he was 
rather thick-set and very erect and active in his bearing. His step was firm 
and decided ; he carried himself well, and there was nothing uncertain in his 
demeanor. He could be stern at times, but was, as a rule, winning and pleas- 
ant. His eyes were bright, and, when his mood was a happy one, they had 
warmth in them, a fireside glow, delightful to all that came near him. 8 

Dr. Buttz describes the " cheerfulness " and " hospitality " of 
his home, and quotes from his beautiful tribute to his " little 
Lizzie," who died. 

The home of Mrs. Sarah Jane (Mays) Nadal, his widow, 
is now (1884) in the city of New York, where all but one of his 
surviving children also reside. The following are the children : 
1. Ehrman S., formerly an attache' of the American Legation in 
London, now secretary of the Municipal Civil Service Examin- 
ing Board, New York city— author of a work on his observations 
in England, and a volume of essays, etc. 2. Thomas IV., a 

7 Dr. Buttz in " New Life Dawning," pp. 77, 78. 

8 Ibid., pp, 88, 89. 

356 Old Sands Street Church. 

physician in Jamaica, L. I. 3. Rebecca M., joined Sands-street 
church by letter, with her mother and brother, in 1872, and re- 
moved by letter in 1876. 4. Bernard Harrison, a student in 
Wesleyan University in 1868, member of Sands-street church 
1872-1876, for years past employed in the Custom house, 
New York. 5. Charles C, a lawyer in New York. 6. Frank, a 
youth of great promise, was a member of the senior class of Co- 
lumbia College at the time of his death by drowning in Ber- 
nardsville, N. J., in 1879. A beautiful memorial, by Mrs. Mary 
Stevens Robinson, was published in The Methodist. 7. Jen- 
nie. 8. Grace M 

•*"tf^<>*; H 


REV D. CURRY, D.D., l,L.D. 


e have knowledge of the ancestry of the Rev. Dan- 
iel Curry, D. D., L L. D as far back as Richard 
Curry, who was born in East Chester, just above 
the city of New York, in 1709. 

About 1730, having married, he took his young wife and all their effects, 
and, mounting themselves on a single horse, they rode northward into the al- 
most unbroken forests in the northern part of Westchester County, then still, 
occupied by the wild Algonquins. He located in the valley of Peekskill Creek, 
a few miles back from the Hudson, where he became an extensive land owner 
reared a large family, and died in 1806. 1 

Stephen, second son of Richard Curry, was the father of 
four sons and a number of daughters. Thomas, second son 
of Stephen Curry, reared a family of nine children, six of 
them sons, the fourth of whom is the subject of this sketch. 
The longevity of several persons in the different branches of 
the family has been remarkable. Richard, the great-grand- 
father of Dr. Curry, died in his ninety-seventh year, and an 
uncle, Stephen Curry, celebrated the one hundredth anniver- 
sary of Ms birth about the year 1870, at which date all the 
five brothers of Dr. Curry were living, the eldest seventy 
years of age. The family name has been honored by several 
persons who have attained considerable distinction. A broth- 
er of Daniel Curry was candidate for Governor, and after- 
ward Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, a- 
bout the time of the war of the Rebellion. 

Daniel Curry was born near Peekskill, N. Y., November 
26, 1809. At that date the Methodist Episcopal Church had 
been organized just twenty-five years; there were less than 
six hundred traveling preachers and only about one hun- 
dred and sixty three thousand (163,000) members in the 

1 Article in the Christian Advocate about 1870. 

358 Old Sands Street Church. 

United States and the Canadas. A comparison of these figures 
with the statistics of the present centennial year will convey some 
idea of the growth and development of the church during Dr. 
Curry's life-time. 

His youth was divided between the occupations of farmer 
and student. At home, when twenty years of age, he gave his 
heart to the Saviour. He was baptized by Peter P Sandford, 
at Shrub Oak, N.. Y At White Plains, N. Y., where he prepared 
for college, he received his first license as a local preacher in 1 834. 
He was graduated from the Wesleyan University in 1837, and 
was employed that same year as the first president of the Troy 
Conference Academy, in Poultney, Vt. Two years later he was 
appointed to a professorship in the Georgia Female College, in 
Macon. He was ordained local deacon by Bishop Andrew, in 
the State of Georgia, in 1841. He entered the itinerant min- 
istry that year, and the following is his 

CONFERENCE RECORD : 1841, (Georgia Conf.,) Athens, Ga. ; 1842, 
Athens and Lexington ; 1843, ordained elder, — Savannah ; 1844, Columbus; 
1845, (New York Conf.,) New York, Twenty-third street, with Z. Davenport, 
sup'y; 1846-1847, New Haven, First ch.; 1848-1849, (New York East Conf.,) 
Brooklyn, Washington-st; 1850-1851, Brooklyn, Fleet-st.; 1852-1853, Hart- 
ford; 1854, New York, Twenty-seventh-st.; 1855-1857, (Indiana Conf.,) Pres't 
Indiana Asbury University ; 1857, (New York East Conf.,) Brooklyn, N. Y., 
South Third-st. ; 1858-1859, Middletown, Conn.; 1860-1861, New Rochelle, 
N. Y. ; 1862-1863. New York, Thirty-seven th-st.; 1864, presiding elder, 
Long Island South Dist.; 1864-1876, editor of The Christian Advocate ; 
1876-1880, editor of The National Repository ; 1880-1881, associate editor 
of The Methodist, with D. H. Wheeler ; 1881-1882, New York, Eighty- 
second street and South Harlem ; 1883, New York, Bethany chapel ; 18S4, 
New York, Trinity ch., with T. H. Burch until May, then elected editor of 
the Methodist Quarterly Review. 

Dr. Curry was married, February 16, 1838^0 Miss Mary Hal- 
stead, daughter of A. L. Halstead, of White Plains, N. Y The 
degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by the Wesleyan 
University in 1852, and that of LL.D. by the Syracuse Univer- 
sity in 1878. He has been a member of every General Con- 
ference from i860 to 1884, inclusive, leading his delegation five 
times out of seven. He was a delegate to the Methodist Ecu- 
menical Conference, in London, 1881. 

Daniel Curry has been prominently before the public for 
nearly half a century; with voice and pen, as teacher, preacher, 
platform speaker, author, and editor — one of the busiest men of 

Record of Ministers. 359 

his age ; and to this day his " bow abides in strength." More 
than forty years ago he took rank among the ablest writers in 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, a pre-eminence which he 
still maintains. Besides the incalculable product of eighteen 
years of editorial work, scores of elaborate contributions from 
his pen have appeared in cyclopedias and magazines, and about 
twenty-five of his best articles are in the Methodist Quarterly 
Review. He is the author of a " Life of Wicklif," "The Met- 
ropolitan City of America," and "Platform Papers." The 
works of Dr. James Floy and Southey's " Life of Wesley " were 
edited by him. His last book is a revision of Clarke's "Com- 
mentary on the New Testament," an " elaborate, scholarly work," 
upon which he "has spent the energies of his ripe, rich genius." 

Great satisfaction has been expressed concerning the almost 
unanimous election of Daniel Curry to the difficult and honor- 
able position of editor of the Methodist Review. Few, even 
among the ablest men of Methodism, would have been trusted 
to take charge of this highest periodical of our Church, espe- 
cially as the successor of that mighty theologian, scholar, and 
writer, Dr. Daniel D. Whedon. 

Since one of the boldest of men has written, " Dr. Curry is 
too much alive for us to risk a characterization," the author of 
this book ought surely to be prudent enough, to resist any temp- 
tation in that direction. But Dr. Buckley proceeds to say : 
" No man living ever taught the writer more than Dr. Curry ; " 
which statement is, perhaps, as great a climax as this chapter 
can reach. 

Three sons of Daniel and Mary Curry, namely, Edward Coxe, 
Francis Shay, and David Stanford, died in childhood. Their 
only daughter, Georgit, is the wife of Mr. James Armstrong. 


he Rev Charles Fletcher was born near Leeds, 
Yorkshire, England, January 10, i8ti. His wife 
was often heard to speak of her acquaintance with 
him as a boy in the Sunday-school, where he showed un- 
common talent and won the admiration of many. At six- 
teen he was converted, and began to preach when eighteen 
years of age. His educational advantages were exceedingly 
limited. After a short time spent at school, the only oppor- 
tunities of his youth were such as a factory life affords; a 
fact which afterward elicited the question, "Whence hath 
this man such wisdom?" He developed a fine talent for busi- 
ness, and came to this country as a wool-buyer in 1842. 

It would seem that he had ceased to be a preacher, if, in- 
deed, he was a church-member at the time of his coming to 
America. Some important facts in Mr. Fletcher's history, 
occurring about this time, are vividly presented in a com- 
munication by the Rev. Aaron Foster. He writes: 

In the year 1842, I resided in Glenham, Dutchess County, N. Y., had 
charge of the village school, and was one of the class-leaders in the church 
of that place. My first interview with the lamented subject of this tribute 
was soon after he arrived in this country, when, while walking apparently for 
pastime, he halted in front of my residence where I was standing, and seemed 
inclined to make my acquaintance. I recognized in him a stranger. Moved by 
what proved a mutual impulse, I reciprocated his advances. We had not con- 
versed long, till his pleasant manner, together with the ease, grace, elegance 
and fluency of his conversation, convinced me that he was more than ordi- 
nary. In this conversation I learned he had belonged to the Wesleyan Church 
in the old country, and also that he had been a local preacher, and he showed 
himself conversant with the Church, its institutions, and leading standard- 
bearers in that country. Indeed, he seemed, comparatively as a luminous 
star bursting from behind a dark cloud — such a man as one seldom meets. I 
at once sought a closer acquaintance, and invited him to my class-room. He 


Record of Ministers. 361 

came. I introduced him to our pastor, he joined on probation, and his utter- 
ances were fragrant with a deep and rich experience. His words thrilled 
our souls. While he spoke our hearts burned. In due time he was licensed 
to preach. 1 

Thenceforward to the close of his life, Mr. Fletcher continued, 
either as a local or an itinerant preacher, to proclaim the glad 
tidings of salvation to men. Indeed, while he was outside the 
conference, his field, as a commercial traveler, was even more 
extended, and his transient visits and mighty sermons, in widely 
distant parts of the country, will not soon be forgotten. His 
record as a pastor in this country is briefly contained in the 
following list of 

APPOINTMENTS : 1845, (New York Conf.,) Hartford Conn., with W. 
K. Stopford ; 2 1846, ditto, with P. C. Oakley ; 1847-1851, a local preacher; 
1850, last part, Brooklyn, Washington avenue, (Summerfield) — a supply ; 3 
1852 (New York East Conf.,) ordained deacon, — Brooklyn, Summerfield chapel; 
1853-1854, Birmingham, Conn.; 1855, ordained elder ; 1855-1856, Bridgeport, 
Conn.; 1857-1858, New York, Seventh-street ; 1859-1860, New York, Twenty- 
second-street, the first year with J. J. Matthias, sup'y ; 1861-1862, Mamaro- 
neck; 1863, Meriden, Conn. ; 1864-1866, Brooklyn, Sands-street ; 1867- 
1868, New Haven, Conn., First ch. ; 1869-1871, Brooklyn, Pacific-street; 
1872-1875, presiding elder, Long Island South. Dist., 1876-1879, presid- 
ing elder, New York East Dist.; 1880, supernumerary. 

His field of labor in his first appointment was not in the city 
of Hartford, but, as the junior preacher, he was assigned to an 
outlying village, which afforded him an inadequate support, 
and he left the charge and engaged in mercantile business before 
the second year had expired. He was not happy, however, until 
he had re-entered upon the work to which he was conscious the 
Head of the Church had called him. He was providentially led 
into a hitherto unoccupied but hopeful field, and, by the bless- 
ing of God, he became the founder of the strong and prosperous 
Summerfield church, in Brooklyn. 

When Mr. Fletcher was stationed in New Haven he had 
reached the height of his fame. It was then that the author, 
as a neighbor, had opportunity to witness the pov/er of his in- 
fluence, and to observe the cause and the extent of his popular- 
ity. In his sermons he almost invariably presented the greatest 

Reminiscences," etc., in The Christian Advocate, 1880. 
2 His memoir in the Conference Minutes, 1881, p. 79, is inaccurate and mis- 
leading, as it speaks of " his conference work, begun in 1852." 
Quarterly conference record. 

362 Old Sands Street Church. 

and grandest topics of revelation. " The finished sacrifice," 
" the transfiguration," " the .Christian's spiritual foes," " the sov- 
ereignty, majesty, power, dominion, and government of the 
Almighty," were some of the subjects in which his great 
heart and intellect found ample scope. He seemed to lose 
himself in his subject, and there was a clearness, depth, 
and grandeur, and "a steady march to the climax," which 
captured the attention, and made a most powerful impression 
upon the minds and hearts of his hearers. His conference 
memorial says : 

People of mature judgment and scholarship, and of cultured taste, sat under 
his ministry with delight. The professors and students of Yale College were 
fond of dropping into his church. 

The official board of the First Methodist Episcopal church 
in New Haven, in resolutions adopted after his death, 
declared : 

Though we have been favored with the devoted pastoral care of many of 
the eminent ministers of the church, none have left a more fragrant memory, 
or a more salutary Christian influence. 

The author remembers to have heard him preach a sermon 
at the Plainville camp-meeting from the text, " It is finished," 
which swept like a mighty torrent over the assembly. A min- 
ister in the stand, most remarkable for his equanimity, seemed 
as much overwhelmed by his thoughts and emotions and as 
violently demonstrative as the others. The following is an ex- 
tract from the Rev. Dr. Buckley's excellent memorial article in 
The Christian Advocate : 

As a man, he had the advantage of a large stature, a dignified bearing, and 
a deep yet musical voice. When in repose, or as he stood before an audience 
about to begin a discourse, his presence was imposing. In reading the Holy 
Scriptures he was very impressive. The late Canon M'Neil, of Liverpool, 
had a high reputation as a reader, but having heard both, we are of opinion 
that in solemnity, dignity, and pathos Charles Fletcher nearly equaled him; 
perhaps, aided by similar externals, he would have attained the same excel- 
lence. * * * 

Ordinarily reticent in social intercourse, when with a few kindred spirits, 
he was the charm of the occasion. He was capable not only of wit, but of 
that which is hi. her than wit, genuine humor, which was illustrated at the 
union of the New York East and New England Conferences a few years ago. 
There those who did not know the rich vein of humor in his composition 
were surprised and delighted by his happy speech. Every conference has a 
few men who, if they do not stand above, stand out from the body, not in 

Record of Ministers. 363 

seclusion, but in marked individuality. When such men die, they should be 
fitly described ; and so we have tried to represent this man, unique, reserved, 
not unkind, always a gentleman, and a truly great preacher. 

If he had possessed the adaptive facility of some others in prayer-meetings 
and the Sabbath-school, or had preached from the elevated pedestal of a col- 
lege presidency, or an episcopal position, his fame would have been as wide 
as the nation. 

While it is not true, as some have believed, that Mr. Fletcher 
never wrote his sermons, it is a fact that of some of his greatest 
sermons not a written line or word have his friends been able 
to find. His memory was well trained. Mr. Foster, already- 
quoted, says: 

His reading was select and close, yet various and extensive. He made the 
best thoughts of the best writers his own, but every thing he borrowed was 
perfected by the ordeal of a powerful original analysis. 

This statement is strikingly exemplified in a manuscript ser- 
mon, which Mrs. Fletcher placed in the author's hands. If 
there were space in this work to publish it, many of his friends 
would recognize therein the style and spirit of Mr. Fletcher's 
discourses. After he began to decline in health he spent some 
time at his son's residence near the writer's home in Great 
Neck, L. I. He was affable, genial, entertaining, though 
evidently suffering, and apprehensive of his approaching end. 
He remarked with a weary smile, when invited to preach, " I 
feel just now as if I could endure about as much rest as any 
other man." He was confined to his room in Brooklyn during 
the session of the conference in 1880; but, prisoner as he was, 
he took great interest, and even participated in the work of the 
conference. As death approached he talked some, though not 
much, about his departure. His theme was Christ. He recited 
again and again the lines, 

"Jesus, our great High Priest, 
Hath full atonement made." 

After repeating impressively " The burial of Sir John 
Moore," he added : " And more gloriously the Christian war- 
rior dies." Thus he entered into rest on the 20th of 
April, 1880, having reached the age of sixty-nine years. 
His funeral was attended in the Sands-street church, Dr. 
Curry and other ministers participating in the services, 
and his remains were borne thence to their last resting-place 

in Greenwood cemetery. 
25 J 

364 Old Sands Street Church. 

Sarah (Marsden,) his wife, was born near her husband's 
birthplace, in Yorkshire, (date unknown. 4 ) Her father was 
brother to the noted Australian chaplain and pioneer mission- 
ary to New Zealand, the Rev. Samuel Marsden, who was, dur- 
ing his earlier Christian life, a Wesleyan. She had known and 
loved Charles Fletcher from childhood, and none could fail to 
observe that she regarded his character, his talent, his work, 
with a fondness and pride rarely equaled. She stood guard at 
his study door to prevent unnecessary interruption of his prep- 
aration for the pulpit, assumed the cares of the household, and 
performed an untold amount of pastoral work. It is safe to 
say that the usefulness of her husband's ministry was largely 
due to Mrs. Fletcher. Having, on account of studious habits 
and peculiar tastes, less adaptation than some to certain kinds 
of pastoral duty, he fortunately found in his energetic and de- 
voted wife a valuable assistant. It is a fact known to some that 
Mr. Fletcher was subject to despondency, and at times strongly 
tempted to withdraw from the ministry, but the cheering words 
and tender persuasions of his wife held him to his work. She 
never attempted to conceal her admiration for her husband's pul- 
pit ministrations. Forty years of familiarity with his thought and 
voice and manner only intensified her interest in his sermons. 

Mrs. Fletcher was an ardent Methodist, well informed and 
thoroughly decided on all questions agitating the church. She 
cherished a profound interest in the welfare of Methodist min- 
isters. She knew and placed her own estimate upon nearly 
every member of the New York East Conference. 

After her husband's death she looked and talked like one 
homesick for heaven. With all her tender affection for the 
living, she could not refrain from conversing about the dead, 
and the hope of meeting them above. Thus she lingered about 
one year, and died in peace at the residence of her son, Charles 
M. Fletcher, in Great Neck, L. I., August 14, 1881, aged 
(probably) about seventy-two. John Pegg, E. Warriner, Geo. 
Hollis, and others, took part in the funeral services. She sleeps 
in Greenwood by the side of her husband. Their two sons, 
Sydney and Charles Af., survive them, and will never cease to 
remember their virtues, their counsels, and their prayers. 

4 She was peculiar in this particular. Though it was understood that she was 
older than her husband, she would never tell her age, even to her children. 




cuth Long Island District was in charge of the 
Rev. Benjamin Pilsbury, D. D. from June, 1864, to 
April, 1868. These were years of great prosperity 
to the church. Large sums were contributed in the "cente- 
nary offerings," and many debts of long standing were liq- 
uidated. Sands-street church paid a debt of ten thousand 
dollars. Several new societies were organized, and some 
dead ones revived; several new houses of worship were 
built, and thousands of souls were converted to Christ. The 
number of pastors employed increased fifty per cent., and 
the amount paid for ministerial support nearly one hundred 
per cent. 

Benjamin Pilsbury was born in Boscawen, N. H., October 
25, 1824. His ancestors came to this country from England, 
in 165 1, and settled in that part of Newbury, Mass., called 
Belleville. The site where the first log-cabin was built has 
descended from father to son through all the subsequent 
generations. Here Daniel Pilsbury. the grandfather of Ben- 
jamin, was born; but in early life he emigrated to Boscawen, 
N. H., where he raised a numerous family, of whom Daniel 
Jr., the father of Benjamin, was the eldest. 

The mother of Benjamin Pilsbury was Betsey Burleigh, 
daughter of Joseph Burleigh, Esq., of Salisbury, (now 
Franklin,) N. H., whose farm adjoined that of the father of 
Daniel and Ezekiel Webster. She became the second wife 
of Daniel Pilsbury, Jr., and Benjamin was her youngest child, 
and the only one who lived to maturity. 

While he was yet an infant, his parents moved from Bos- 
cawen to a farm on Baker's River, in Plymouth, N. H., and 
there and* in that vicinity remained until he was fifteen 
years old. In 1839 tne y moved to West Newbury, Mass., 
where they died at a good old age. 

Benjamin's early advantages for schooling were not great. 
The district school was distant, of short continuance, and 

366 Old Sands Street Church. 

not always well taught. In Massachusetts his opportunities 
were much better, and he commenced to prepare for college. 
Two winters he studied at the celebrated Dummer Academy, 
in Newbury, and one year at the Wesleyan Academy, Wilbra- 
ham, Mass., but a large part of the required studies were mas- 
tered by him alone, by the " midnight oil," while helping his 
father on the farm. He entered the Wesleyan University in 
1843, and at once took a high position in his class; but his ex- 
cessive labors had so exhausted his physical system, that he 
soon fell sick with typhus fever. When this subsided, his phy- 
sician commanded rest, and he went home. This sickness, al- 
though a serious interruption, was not altogether disadvanta- 
geous. Hitherto his father had opposed his seeking a collegiate 
education, but now he desired his return and promised some 
assistance. His mother had always sympathized with him in 
his efforts, and aided him as much as she was able. He returned 
to college at the beginning of the second term, and although 
obliged to teach and preach to pay part of his expenses, and at 
times suffering from ill-health, he was able to graduate honor- 
ably with his class in 1847. 1 

Mr. Pilsbury experienced religion while studying at Wilbra- 
ham, in April, 1842, and this event soon changed all his plans 
for the future. He had in view the legal profession; but the 
voice of the Spirit and the leadings of Providence pointed him 
to the ministry as the work of his life. In order to earn funds 
for the further prosecuting of his studies he taught a district 
school in Agawam, Mass., in the winter of 1842-1843. He 
found there a Methodist class, without a pastor, but holding 
meetings in the school-house on the Sabbath. Of course the 
teacher, though young and but just received into the church, 
was pressed into the service ; and in that place, without license, 
and with no intention of seeking one, he commenced to lead the 
meetings, and call sinners to repentance. A precious revival 
followed, and in consequence a little church was soon erected. 

While in college Mr. Pilsbury was an active worker in 
holding meetings in the school-houses and little churches in 
Middletown and vicinity; and at length yielded to the convic- 
tion that he must make the "preaching of the cross " his life- 
work. He was first licensed to preach by the quarterly 

1 Bishop Andrews, Dr. Winchell, and other eminent men were members of 
this class. 

Record of Ministers. 367 

conference held in Middletown, Conn., August 4, 1845. Bar- 
tholomew Creagh was presiding elder, and by his appointment 
Mr. Pilsbury had the pastoral charge of a little church in Rocky 
Hill during his last collegiate year. 

Feeling the need of additional preparation for the ministry, 
be resolved to pursue a course of study at some theological 
seminary, and a providential opening led him to New 
Haven. The Methodist church in Westville desired him 
for their pastor, and consented to allow him all the advan- 
tages of the theological department in Yale College. Here 
he spent one year as a supply, and two years as a con- 
ference preacher, graduating from the seminary in 1850. 
Combining pastoral duties with attendance at school was 
an arduous task, but boarding at Westville, the long and 
regular walks gave him vigorous health, which he has gen- 
erally enjoyed ever since. 

MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENTS: 1846-1847, Rocky Hill, Conn, 
a supply; l847,Westville, a supply; 1848-1849, (New York East Con f.,) returned 
to Westville ; 1850-1851. Guilford , 1852, New Britain ; 1853-1854, Water- 
bury; 1855-1856, New York, Seventh-street ; 1857-1858, Hempstead, L. I.; 
1859, Rye, N. Y.; 1860-1861, New Haven, Conn., St. John-street; 1862- 
1863, Brooklyn, N. Y., South Third-street ; 1864-1867, presiding elder, 
Long Island South Dist.; 1868, West Winsted, Conn.; 1869, Middletown, 
with J. H. Knowles, (nominal appointment;) 1870-1871, Watertown; 1872- 
1875, presiding elder, New Haven Dist; 1876, Danbury; 1877-1879, Strat- 
ford ; 1880-1881, Woodbury ; 1882-1883, Durham ; 1884, Forestville. 

In Waterbury (1853) the large brick church on East Main- 
street was built. In 1856, under his ministry, an old debt of 
$5,000 was paid by the church in Seventh-street, New York. A 
parsonage was built by the people of South Third-street church, 
Brooklyn, under his administration. His nominal appointment 
to Middletown was at his own request, that his wife might care 
for her sick mother residing there. Mr. Pilsbury has witnessed 
many conversions under his ministry, in some appointments re- 
ceiving additions to the church every month ; but we have not 
space for details. The great revival in Hempstead, L. I., in the 
winter of 1857-1858, however, requires special notice. One 
hundred and sixty professed faith in Christ, of whom one hun- 
dred and thirty-five united with the Methodist church on pro- 
bation. The society about doubled its membership during his 
administration and became one of the strong churches of the 
conference. One of the converts is now a useful minister in 

368 Old Sands Street Church. 

the New York East Conference. Mr. Pilsbury rendered ac- 
ceptable service as delegate to General Conference in 1864 and 
1868. He received the degree of D.D. from the East Tennes- 
see University in 1875. 

During his first year as a conference preacher, on the 24th 
of April, 1848, Benjamin Pilsbury was married to Miss H. 
Maria Chandler, only daughter of Theophilus Chandler, of 
Middletown, Conn., and sister of the late Rev. T B. Chandler, 
of the New York East Conference. Two children have been 
born to them — a son and a daughter. The son, Benjai?iin 
Chandler, was graduated at the Wesleyan University in 1875, 
taught Latin and Greek in two conference seminaries, studied 
in Yale Theological Seminary, and is now a member of the 
New York East Conference. The daughter, Sarah Maria, 
"after sixteen beautiful years," departed "to be with Christ." 
Both were converted young. 

<G^-£ {2cc*&*^, 



ands-street Methodist people do not disguise their 

pleasure in numbering among their pastors the Rev. 

Bishop Edward Gayer Andrews, D.D., LL.D. 

The church desiring for its pastor " the office of a 
bishop, desireth a good work." The helpful influence of 
pastors and churches is mutual ; noble, godly laymen may 
therefore expect not only to be gratified, but even honored and 
"admired," through the well-deserved promotion of the minis- 
ters with whom they have faithfully labored, and in whose suc- 
cess they have been personally and actively interested. While 
many others among the eighty-nine pastors and presiding elders 
of the Sands-street church may have been worthy of this office, 
Dr. Andrews stands alone among them as bishop. 

His ancestry was of New England, and related to the 
many families of the name of Andrews, residing near Hartford, 
Conn., particularly in New Britain, whence his grandfather mi- 
grated to Oneida County, N. Y., in the early part of this cent- 
ury, settling in Whitestown, near Utica. George Andrews, 
father of the bishop, was married to Polly Walker, a lady of 
Quaker descent, connected not remotely with the Coffins and 
Gardiners of Nantucket. In early life she was a member of the 
Presbyterian church in # Whitesboro, but when her husband, 
about the time of the birth of their son Edward, was converted, 
both together joined the Methodist Episcopal church in New 
York Mills, not far from their residence. The following, writ- 
ten by Dr. Buckley, appeared in The Christian Advocate, No- 
vember ii, 1880: 

F Jdt m t ^ ° f B J Sh ° P AndrCWS celebrated her eighty-third birthday last 
more wa f C -T J ™ ° n Gun P owd ^ Mot day. When she was a little girl 
&LZ u\ [t Aan n ° W - ° ne ^redand ninety-two, minus 

SS^mt™^!? to within one hundred and nine y ears of the 

2Zl°L 7>u ham * ^ thC rCCent "* ° f events had not loured 

th TaZe t I T ^^ in modem En e lish histoI 7- We had 
Pleasure to be the pastor of this venerable woman eighteen 

37<d Old Sands Street Church. 

years ago, and in view of her character and that of her family, congratulate 
her that God has satisfied her with long life and shown her his salvation ; that 
she has seen "her sons come to honor;" yes, she has seen her children's 
children, and their children. 

Edward G. Andrews was born August 7, 1825, in New Hart- 
ford, Oneida County, N. Y. He was one of eleven children, 
all but one of whom lived to adult years, and became members 
of one or other of the evangelical churches — " so graciously did 
God, our Father, give his blessing to parental piety." 

Having had elementary instruction in the common school, 
young Andrews subsequently studied for a while in the Oneida 
Institute, then under the care of the well-remembered and able 
Dr. Besiah Green. He began to study Greek with the Rev. Ira 
Pettibone, pastor of the Presbyterian church, New York Mills, 
and, very early, when not ten years of age, was sent, in the care 
of an elder brother, to the Cazenovia Seminary, (George Peck, 
D.D., principal,) forty miles from his home. With considerable in- 
termission he attended this school until he was nineteen years of 
age, when he entered the Wesleyan University, graduating there- 
from in 1847, with Orange Judd, Benjamin Pilsbury, Alexander 
Winchell, and others who have become an honor to the college. 

While a student at the seminary he early made a profession of 
religion and united with the church. His precise age at the 
time we have not ascertained. He was licensed to exhort and 
to preach when eighteen years of age, in Hartwick circuit, Ot- 
sego County, N. Y., where he was teaching a private school. 
Nelson Rounds, D.D., was presiding elder, and Calvin Hawley, 
a man of wonderful power in prayer and exhortation, was the 
preacher in charge. 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1847, supply, Morrisville and Pratt's Hol- 
low cir., withD. A.Whedon; 1848, ordained deacon, — (Oneida Conf.,) Hamilton 
and Leeville cir.; 1849, Hamilton; 1850-1851, Cooperstown; 1852, ordained 
elder; 1852-1853, Stockbridge; 1854-1855, teacher in Oneida (now Central New 
York) Conference Seminary, Cazenovia; 1855, elected President of Mans- 
field, Ohio, Female College, and filled that position about one year, but the 
Minutes make no mention of it ; 1856-1863, Principal of Oneida Conference 
Seminary; 1864-1866, (New York East Conf.,) Stamford, Conn., with W. C. 
Hoyt; 1867, Brooklyn, Sands-street; 1868-1870, Brooklyn, St. Johns; 
1871-1872, Brooklyn, Seventh ave.; 1872 (May)-i884, bishop, residing most 
of the time in Washington, D. C. 

His turning aside from the pastorate, in 1854, was occasioned 
by the failure of his voice, which he attributes to his " faulty 

Record of Ministers. 3^ 

manner of speech " in the early years of his ministry. Having 
engaged in educational work, which he intended to be only 
a temporary relief from pulpit labor, he continued therein for 
ten years, until, at length, unwilling longer to be kept from the 
occupation that was congenial to his tastes and desires, he 
returned to the pastorate. 

The degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by Genesee Col- 
lege in 1863, and that of LL.D. by Allegheny College in 1881. 
He preached a missionary sermon before the New York East 
Conference which was very highly appreciated. He was chosen 
orator at the twenty-fifth anniversary of his college class in 
1872. At the semi-centennial of the Cazenovia Seminary, in 
1875, he delivered the historical address, which was published. 
He was elected a trustee of the Wesley an University in 1881, 
and the same year delivered a response to the address of wel- 
come at the semi-centennial exercises of the college. 1 

The records of Sands-street church were carefully revised by 
Dr. Andrews, and they bear testimony to the conscientious and 
painstaking attention which he gave to every part of the pas- 
tor's work. While in the New York East Conference (of which 
he has all along been claimed by his brethren to be a member, 
his name appearing on the roll in the Minutes for ten years after 
he was made a bishop) no minister was held in greater esteem 
among us. He was always recognized as a master spirit in the 
deliberations of the conference. His marked ability in debate 
was often strikingly displayed by his bringing forward at the 
opportune moment the suggestion or proposition that was sure 
to receive the unanimous approval of the preachers. He rep- 
resented the Oneida Conference in the General Conference of 
1864. His election to the General Conference, held in Brook- 
lyn, in 1872, and his promotion by that conference to the highest 
position in the church, gave great satisfaction to his many 
friends, and his eminent efficiency and usefulness as a bishop 
prove the wisdom of the choice. 

The accompanying portrait represents Dr. Andrews as he ap- 
peared when pastor of the Sands-street church. He now wears 
side whiskers, which have turned very grey, yet he seems to have 
retained much of the vigor of former years. The Christian 
Advocate describes him as " well built, with ruddy and pleasant 

Semi-Centennial, Wesleyan University, pp. 8-15. 

372 Old Sands Street Church. 

countenance, and eyes shaded with glasses ; neat in habit, of 
courteous yet dignified mien, retiring and unassuming, but ex- 
ceedingly social among friends." 

The day he was twenty-six years of age, (August 7, 185 1,) E. 
G. Andrews was married to Miss Susan M. Hotchkiss, of 
Cheshire, Conn. Eva, their first-born, died in infancy. The 
other children are : Winnifred Elizabeth ; Helen, (Mrs. W. G. 
Nixon ;) Edward Hotchkiss, (class of 1885, Wesleyan Univer- 
sity,) and Grace. 

r.*w!Wj ; ; : 



I he Rev. Edwin Elijah Griswold, D. D., son of 
Elijah and Lydia Griswold, was born in Windsor, 
Ct., August 20, 1802. The family were descendants 
of the original settlers of that town. Among his relatives was 
Bishop A. V. Griswold of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

Dr. Griswold's mother was of Puritan descent, and of 
the Adams family. She with her husband joined the Epis- 
copalians, but was an ardent admirer of Jesse Lee and 
his successors, who were often entertained at her home. 
She survived her husband, and in her later years became a 
Methodist and lived with her son. 

Mr. Griswold records that during his infancy he was once 
so very sick that he lay a long time as if he were dead, and 
then recovered. When about commencing his public labors 
for Christ, he overheard his mother relating this incident to 
a friend, and saying, — " I then felt that my child was raised up 
to do or suffer a great deal in this world." This remark made 
a lasting impression upon his mind. He experienced religion 
at the age of fifteen, through the pastoral care of the Revs. 
Micah and Aurora Seager. He never ventured to determine 
the exact moment of his conversion, but he always remem- 
bered the strange, sweet peace which he experienced one 
day while following the plow, and humming the lines he had 
heard in the Methodist prayer-meeting — 

" O ! Christian, are you ready now 
To cross the narrow flood ? " 

there came to his heart a comfortable assurance that he 
was ready. This was in June, 1817 The following March he 
joined the little society in the neighborhood, and as he was 
the only male member, he was appointed leader, and held 

374 Old Sands Street Church. 

the position until, some years later, he left home to join the 
itinerant ranks. His few early advantages he faithfully im- 
proved, attending the public school when he could, and study- 
ing by candle-light, and sometimes by fire-light, and even by 
moonlight, while others were asleep. Concerning his diligence 
as a student, and his call to the ministry, the Rev. George A. 
Hubbell writes : 

In early youth he showed a fondness for study, reading all the family 
library, which contained a Bible. Prayer Book, Fox's Martyrology, Hervey's 
Meditations, Seneca's Morals, and Mason on Self-knowledge. At twelve 
years of age he began to draw books from the district library, select- 
ing Josephus, Rollins' History, Robinson's Charles V., and books of 
biography, voyages, and travels, to which he added two or three 
works of fiction. The practical character of his early reading stamped 
his mind with certain common-sense peculiarities which were prominent 
in all his public life, 1 

How he was led step by step to enter upon the life of an itin- 
erant preacher is thus told by the same writer : 

Thoughts of the ministry were familiar to him from his childhood, when his 
grandfather laid a hand of blessing on his head and said, " This boy rrwst be a 
minister." Soon after his conversion he heard the divine call to this work. 
The preachers urged it upon his attention ; and when he was seventeen years 
old, Rev. Cyrus Culver, unsolicited, gave him license to exhort. From this 
time he became more studious, and read all the Methodist literature within 
his reach. Six years later he was in doubt respecting his duty, and decided 
to settle down to business. He married Miss Nancy Webster, an amiable 
and estimable Christian lady, and engaged in farming and school-teaching. 
But he was not at rest. After two years of vacillation the conviction became 
strong that he must give himself up wholly to the work of the ministry, in 
which, as an exhorter, he had been partially engaged for nearly ten years. 
Rev. E. Osborn, preacher in charge, gave him appointments on the circuit, 
and he was licensed to preach at the district conference held at Richmond, 
Mass., in October, 1827. In the spring of 1829 he was admitted on trial in 
the New York Conference. 

He continued in the active work forty-three successive years, 
serving the church with acceptability and success, filling the 
entire pastoral term in every circuit or station. The following 
list of his appointments and his colleagues will enable the 
reader to follow the faithful itinerant from place to place, and 
may suggest many reminiscences of his work and his fellow- 

1 Memorial sketch, in The Christian Advocate. 

Record of Ministers. 375 

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1829, (New York Conf.,) Monkton dr., 
Vt, with Elias Crawford ; 1830, Monkton and Charlotte cir., with T Sey- 
mour and A. Hazleton ; 1831, ordained deacon, — Windsor cir., Conn., with 
W. M'Kendree Bangs ; 1832, Windsor ; 1833, ordained elder ; 1833-1834, 
Wethersfield ; 1835, New York, west cir., with J. B. Stratton, D. De Vinne, 
J. C. Tackabeny, and L. Mead ; 1836, ditto, with C. W. Carpenter, J. Covel, 
Jr., J. Z. Nichols, L. Mead, and L. Pease, sup'y ; 1837, New Haven, Conrt.; 
1839-1840, Brooklyn, York-street ; 1841-1842, Newburgh ; 1843-1844, Mid- 
dletown, Conn.; 1845-1846, Hempstead, L. I.; 1847, presiding elder, Hart- 
ford Dist., Conn.; 1848-1849, New York, Mulberry-street ; 1850-1851, New- 
York, Ninth-street; 1852-1853, Essex, Conn.; 1854-1855, Danbury ; 1856- 
1859, presiding elder, Bridgeport Dist.; i860, presiding elder, New Haven 
Dist.; 1861-1864, presiding elder, New York Dist.; 1865-1867, presiding elder, 
New Haven Dist.; 1868-1871, presiding elder, Long Island South 
Dist. ; 1872-1877, superannuated. 

He was a member of four successive General Conferences, 
1852, 1856, i860, and 1864, once (1856) at the head of his dele- 
gation. In 1864 he received the degree of D.D. from M't. 
Union College, Ohio. Dr. Griswold was twice married. At 
the close of this article the reader will find a sketch of his first 
wife. By a second marriage he became the husband of a very 
estimable lady,, the widow of an honored Methodist preacher. 
His last six years were spent in comparative retirement at his 
home in Danbury, Conn., and from thence he " crossed over " 
on the 3d of April, 1878, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. 
About the time when the preachers had assembled in New 
York, and the secretary was calling the conference roll, he 
answered to the roll-call of heaven. Like Carpenter and Covel 
and Stillman, already sketched in this book, he closed his earth- 
ly life while his conference was in session, from whose annual 
meetings he had failed to be present only once in forty-nine 
years. Revs. G. A. Hubbell, B. Pilsbury, S. H. Bray, and 
John Crawford took part in the funeral services. He was 
buried in Wooster cemetery, Danbury, Conn. 

Father Griswold was an able and interesting preacher, 
though his delivery was not the most attractive. In his 
later years his voice was husky at times, and his naturally 
stout frame and rounded shoulders, his broad face and 
bristling gray hair, gave him a unique appearance in a 
stranger's eyes; and yet, w T herever he was known as a 
minister of Christ, he was universally revered for his eminent 
piety and talent. In all his public ministrations his thoughts 
were practical and clear, his rhetoric chaste and beautiful, 

376 Old Sands Street Church. 

and his prayers — what marvels of appropriateness, simplicity, 
and tenderness they were ! 

His friend, Mr. Hubbell, writes : 

As a preacher, he was always interesting. His sermons were thoroughly 
studied and were models of good, practical sense. He indulged in nothing 
speculative, fanciful, or sensational, but preached the gospel only. * * * 
He fed the people with knowledge. Rarely did he preach controversially ; 
but when occasion demanded, he proved a master in this field, as discom- 
fited immersionists in Newburgh and Millerites in Middletown freely con- 
ceded. Having no collegiate education to fall back upon, he continued to 
study and grow in useful knowledge until the end of his ministry. He was 
a careful student of nature and of man. He kept abreast of the growing 
science and progressing thought of the age, and his sermons and conversation 
were enriched with the ripest thought. Few have been better versed in the 
English classics, or Christian theology, or current literature. 

During the terms of his pastoral service in New Haven and 
Middletown he availed himself of most of the public lectures 
in science in connection with the colleges. The writer already 
quoted, adds : 

As a pastor, he was singularly devoted to his work, being rarely absent for 
a single day, and with impartiality and fidelity looking after every member 
of his flock. Very gracious revivals attended his earlier ministry, especially 
in New York, New Haven, Brooklyn, and Newburgh, nearly two hundred 
souls being gathered into the church in the latter place. 

During the seventeen years of his presiding eldership he manifested a deep 
interest in the prosperity of the churches, and a sympathetic interest in the 
welfare of the preachers. His administrative abilities were good. His quar- 
terly visitations were genial,. conciliatory, and edifying. 

The name of " Elda.r Griswold " will never cease to be dear 
to the present generation of preachers in the New York East 
Conference. The young men on his districts studied his char- 
acter closely, and all learned to admire the soundness of his 
judgment and the kindness of his heart. Now that he is gone 
the younger race of preachers find it no small honor and no 
easy task to wear his mantle and to wield his sword. 

Nancy (Webster,) his first wife, was nearly seven years his 
senior. She was born in Bloomfield, Conn., December 16, 
1795. Having been converted under Methodist influences, she 
joined that "almost unknown and every- where derided people," 
against the wishes of her father's family, who, like their ancestors, 
were connected with the Congregational Church. 

Record of Ministers. 377 

Her memorial says : 

When, four years after her marriage to Mr. Griswold, he entered upon the 
work of the ministry, although she would sometimes in pleasantry say that 
she was not responsible for the duties of a minister's wife — not having mar- 
ried a minister — yet she entered heartily with him into the great enterprise ; 
and, so far as the care of her young family and enfeebled health would per- 
mit, bore her full share of its responsibilities. 2 

She suffered extremely for twenty-five years from nervous 
prostration and neuralgic disease, and "finally consumption of 
the lungs supervened, and in a few days opened to her the gates 
of eternal life." After some days of terrible spiritual conflict, 
she gained a complete triumph. " As the breath grew short 
and the pulses still, a luminous smile, completely indescribable, 
overspread her countenance, and she died with it beaming 
there." Thus she passed away, April 3, 1870, exactly eight 
years prior to the death of her husband. Their bodies repose 
side by side. 

His widow, Artemesia (White,) is a daughter of the Rev. 
Nicholas White, of blessed memory, and was formerly the wife 
of the lamented Rev. John M. Pease, of the New York East 
Conference. Her present residence is Plainfield, N. J. 

Children of Edwin E. and Nancy Griswold : Fannie E., resi- 
dence, Danbury, Conn.; Edwin C, graduate of Wesleyan Univer- 
sity, 1847, teacher in Wyoming Seminary, clerk on North.River 
steam-boats, employee in Methodist Book Concern, New York, 
moved to Elyria, Ohio, book-seller there, now farmer — a lay 
delegate to General Conference in 1876 ; Harriet W., (now Mrs. 
E. B. Stevens ;) Anne Augusta, (now Mrs. Horace Purdy ;) 
Mary Victoria, who died in childhood. 

8 " X," in The Christian Advocate. 



ands Street Church was left to be supplied in the 
spring of 1868, and the Rev. Albert Harmon Wy- 
att, A. M., having taken a supernumerary rela- 
tion in the New York Conference, was placed in charge for 
a short time, until the arrival of Mr. De La Matvr who was 
transferred from Western New York. 

Wyatt is a name which Methodists have reason to honor. 
The church has preserved a memorial of Peter Wyatt, of the 
Virginia Conference, who in comparative youth closed a life 
of great usefulness in 1817. 1 Lednum mentions a Joseph 
Wyatt, one of the early Methodist itinerants from the state 
of Delaware, a man of marked talent, who served as chap- 
lain to the legislature of Maryland. 2 William Wyatt, the fa- 
ther of the subject of this sketch, was a Methodist itinerant 
preacher of remarkable pulpit power. His parents before 
him were godly Methodists, pioneers of the denomination 
in Danby, N. Y AVilliam's father was of English extraction; 
his mother of French. "From her" it is said "he took his 
physique and fire. The author formed the acquaintance of 
Chaplain William Wyatt in the army, attended a camp-meet- 
ing with him in Maryland in 1863, and heartily concurs in 
the following statement concerning him. 

As a preacher he was sui generis. His sermons were written, elaborated, and 
thoroughly memorized. His style was eccentric and very impressive. His voice 

1 Minutes of Conferences, 1817, pp. 291, 292. 

2 "Rise of Methodism," pp. 226, 227. 

Record of Ministers. 379 

was clear and strong, and his enunciation distinct. Hs sermons were 
" arousements." Who that ever heard him preach on " The Closet," "Jacob's 
Ladder," " Sampson," "Stone Kingdom," or " The Valley of Dry Bones," can 
forget the impression made ? His life and labors were a grand success. He 
was a good man, and, like Enoch, walked with God. 3 

The widow of William Wyatt, mother of Albert, is a daughter 
of the late Rev. Reuben Reynolds, of the Northern New York 

Albert H. Wyatt was born in Speedsville, Tompkins County, 
N. Y., October 16, 1839. Before he was seventeen years of age, 
on the 6th of September, 1856, at a camp-meeting in the Wyo- 
ming Valley, Pa., he experienced the pardoning love of God. 
That same year he was licensed to exhort in Wilkesbarre, Pa., 
and he received local preacher's license October 16, 1857. He 
was ordained local deacon by Bishop Scott in 1862, and in the 
fall of that year he was appointed chaplain of the 109th Regi- 
ment N. Y. Volunteer Infantry. He prepared for college in 
the Wyoming Seminary, and was graduated at the Wesleyan Uni- 
versity in 1864, having joined the New York Conference in 
April of that year. The following is his 

CONFERENCE RECORD : 1864-1865, (New York Conf .,) West 
Harlem, N. Y.; 1865, ordained elder; 1866-1867, White Plains; 1868, 
sup'y, supply, Brooklyn, Sands-street, a few months, then traveled in 
Europe ; 1869-1871, New York, Washington Square; 1872-1873, (Wyoming 
Conf.,) Wilkesbarre, Pa.; 1874, (Erie Conf.,) Jamestown, N. Y.; 1875, (New 
York East Conf.,) Brooklyn, Summerfield ch.; 1876-1877, sup'y ; 1878-1879, 
Durham, Conn.; 1880-1881, Brooklyn, South Second-street ; 1882-1883, Mid- 
dletown, Conn.; 1884, New Haven, St. John-street. 

Mr. Wyatt was married, April 27, 1865, to Miss Annie E. 
Brown. She died Ap # ril 1, 1867. Her brief memorial says : 

Her married life, of but two years' duration, was exceedingly happy ; yet 
with holy joy she bade farewell to husband and friends, and passed away to 
rest with Jesus. 4 

June 30, 1868, he was married to Miss Martha Washing- 
ton Preston, of Buffalo, N. Y. This excellent Christian lady, 
after a brief illness, died in Durham, Conn., February 18, 1879. 
The writer was intimately associated with Brother Wyatt and 
•his family during the time of their residence in Glen Cove, L. I., 

Rev. H. Brownscombe, in The Christian Advocate. 
4 Rev. B. M. Adams, in The Christian Advocate, May 23, 1867. 

380 Old Sands Street Church. 

in 1876 and 1877; and a more amiable and beautiful character 
than Mrs. Wyatt's he has rarely known. She was sister to Will- 
iam I. Preston, Esq., whose name appears in this book as a 
prominent member of the Sands-street church. 

Miss Gertrude E. Field, daughter of the Rev. Julius Field, 
of the New York East Conference, was married to Mr. Wyatt, 
September 14, 1880. Two of his children died in infancy ; a 
daughter and a son are now living. 

Albert H. Wyatt shone conspicuously among his associates in 
college, and has ever since been regarded as one of the most 
eloquent and useful men in our ministry. He speaks with re- 
markable ease and fluency, and his sermons sparkle with beauty 
and glow with heavenly fire. It would be impossible for any 
Christian, and difficult, indeed, for any sinner, not to love such 
a man as A. H. Wyatt; yet he strikes telling blows against sin 
in the church and out of it, and has never been suspected of 
seeking popularity for its own sake. His modesty is often 
noticed and admired. In appearance he is rather tall and 
erect, with a broad forehead, dark complexion, raven locks, 
large nose, pleasant mouth, dark, full, and somewhat drooping 
eye, with an unusually calm and benignant expression. 

Providence has been pleased to send upon Brother Wyatt re- 
peated and severe afflictions. By the failure of his health while 
pastor of the Summerfield church, in Brooklyn, in 1876, which 
rendered absolutely necessary a suspension for two years of his 
active ministerial work, and by the death of two wives, a 
father, a sister, Lizzie, (Mrs. Rev Dr. W P Abbott,) and two 
infant children, all occurring within a few years, the gold in his 
character has been abundantly tested, but by no means dimin- 
ished or destroyed. 


he Rev. and Hon. Gilbert De La Matyr, D.D., 
was pastor of the Sands-street church from June, 
1867, to April, 1869. He was born in Pharsalia, N. 
Y., July 8, 1825. His father yet lives, (1884,) aged 
eighty-one years, and has been at least sixty years a local elder 
in the Methodist Episcopal Church. His mother, a devout 
Methodist from her youth, died in 1858, and is buried in Mid- 
dletown, Wis. Four of the six sons of this family en- 
tered the ministry. John H. is a presiding elder in the Nevada 
Conference ; David died at the age of twenty-five, having been 
seven years a preacher > the third is the subject of this sketch ; 
the fourth, George W., is a member of the Nevada Conference. 
Another brother is a teacher by profession, and the youngest 
is a physician. 1 

Gilbert De La Matyr was educated at Rushford, N. Y., 2 He 
was converted when about sixteen years of age. In this par- 
ticular he is classed with other eminent ministers of Sands- 
street : Jayne, Ross, Covel, Creagh, Norris, Goodsell, Fletcher, 
Wyatt, and Kettell, ^all of whom reached the happy crisis in 
their lives at the same age, sixteen years. About four years 
afterward he began to preach, and in his twenty-fifth year we 
mark the beginning of his more public 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1850, (Genesee Conf.,) Boliver, N. Y.; 
1851, Olean cir., with S. Parker ; 1852, (ordained deacon,) Portville ; 1853, 
Friendship; 1854, ordained elder; 1854-1855, Wyoming; i856-i857,Pike; 1858, 
Leroy; 1859-1860, Albion ; 1861, Medina ; 1862-1864, Chaplain 8th N. Y. Ar- 
tillery; 1865-1866, presiding elder, Wyoming District; 1867, Alexander ; 1868- 
1869, (N: Y. E. Conf.,) B'klyn, Sands-st.; 1870-1871, (Neb. Conf.,) Omaha, 

1 Letter of the Rev. G. W. De La Matyr to the author. 
8 Simpson's Cyclopedia. 

382 Old Sands Street Church. 

Neb., 1st ch.; 1872-1873, (St. Louis Conf.,) Kansas City, Mo., Grand ave.; 
1874-1876, (Southeast Indiana Conf.,) Indianapolis, Roberts Park chapel; 1877, 
Indianapolis, Grace ch., 1 878-1 883, local; 1883, supply, Denver, Colorado. 

The author formed a very delightful acquaintance with Chap- 
lain De La Matyr in Baltimore, Md., in the year 1863, and was 
frequently permitted to hear him preach in the Methodist pul- 
pits of that city. A ride together by carriage to and from 
Gettysburgh, on the occasion of the dedication of the national 
cemetery, occupying a number of days, was an incident too 
rare and too pleasant to be easily forgotten. 

While presiding elder of the Wyoming District, in 1867, Mr. 
De La Matyr was elected a delegate to the Republican State 
Convention, and was by that body put in nomination on the 
S ate ticket for the office of inspector of State- prisons. This 
drew him somewhat into politics, but he continued to receive 
appointments as a regular conference preacher for several years 
thereafter. While in Omaha he published a sermon on " The 
Relation of Church and State," opposing the taxing of church 
property in Nebraska. He received the degree of D.D. from 
the Willamette University, of Oregon. In 1878 he was elected 
to Congress on a Greenback ticket in Indiana. While in Wash- 
ington he identified himself with the Metropolitan church. 
About this time he became somewhat famous throughout the 
country as a political speaker and lecturer. His lecture on 
" Daniel, the incorruptible statesman," was often referred to in 
the papers as "abounding in glowing descriptions and lofty 
nights of eloquence." He preached nearly every Sabbath, 
however busily occupied he may have been with other matters 
during the week. 

While many questioned the wisdom of Dr. De La Matyr's ac- 
ceptance of the civil promotion which his political friends saw 
fit to confer upon him, it cannot be doubted that he followed 
conscientiously the guidance of his judgment in the matter. As 
the foregoing record shows, he now has pastoral charge of a 
church in one of the great and growing centers of the West. 

Dr. De La Matyr is a man of pleasing manners, a genial 
friend and companion, quiet in his movements, but always ter- 
ribly in earnest. When he speaks " his lower jaw closes like a 
vise, and seems to open sparingly for his words, which he utters 
in a deep bass voice that gets lower instead of higher when he 
reaches a climax." 

Record of Ministers. 383 

His first wife, Luella C, was with him at Fort M 'Henry, in 
Baltimore, and the writer was very favorably impressed with 
her piety and intelligence. Her health was then feeble, and 
continued to be until her departure to that land where " the 
inhabitants never say, I am sick," on the 29th of January, 1866, 
aged forty-three years. 

Maryette, his second wife, a native of Lima, N. Y., was an 
occupant of the parsonage of the Sands-street church. They 
were married April 28, 1868. She was converted at fifteen. 
Previous to her marriage she was enthusiastically devoted to 
her profession as an artist, and her paintings were much ad- 
mired. Her memorial says : 

She possessed beauty of person, unusual force of character, excellent judg- 
ment, and cultivated taste. She had little hesitation in approaching persons 
privately on the subject of personal religion, but found it difficult to take 
much part in public religious services. Those who knew her best esteemed 
her most highly. 

She was ill for about four years, and for more than a year before her death 
an acute sufferer, having endured several painful operations for the cure of 
cancer. Her faith grew as the end approached, and toward the last she was 
flooded with the most glowing emotions. She spoke of what she saw and 
heard as indescribable in human language; and thus she passed away in 
Indianapolis, Ind., August 18, 1877, aged forty-two years. Her remains 
were taken to Albion, N. Y., for burial. She left a little boy, whose real loss 
was only increased by the fact that he was too young to comprehend it. 3 

Rev. J. H. Bayliss in The Christian Advocate. 


^W c^ J^cfaCtej 

ince the preparation of this work was begun three hon- 
ored ministers of the Sands-street church — Fletcher, 
Weed, and Kettell — have been summoned from active 
service to their heavenly reward, making the whole 
number of the deceased sixty-six, and leaving about one third 
as many survivors, namely, twenty-three. Of each of those so 
lately called hence the author has exceedingly pleasant per- 
sonal recollections. Their relations to the Sands-street people 
were exceptionally interesting, one (Dr Weed) having been 
their pastor two full terms, and the other two (Mr. Fletcher and 
Dr. Kettell) having had charge, first of the station, and after- 
ward of the district of which it forms a part, on which district 
they both performed their last work as ministers of Christ. 

An admirably written memoir of the Rev. George Fred- 
erick Kettell, D.D., adopted by the New York East Confer- 
ence, contains the following : 

George F Kettell was born, May 18, 1817, in Boston, Mass. His earliest 
New England ancestors settled in Charlestown,"Mass., in 1630. Thomas Pren- 
tice, the patriotic pastor of the Congregational church of that place during 
the war of the Revolution, was his great-grandfather. At the battle of Bun- 
ker Hill the parsonage which he occupied and the church -in which he had 
preached many a powerful sermon were destroyed by fire. From the burn- 
ing home an infant was rescued. The child, when grown to manhood, be- 
came the father of the subject of this memorial sketch. In early infancy our 
friend was baptized in the " Old South H|rch " of his native city. 

His father at that time, and for years pjerward, maintained successful mer- 
cantile connections with Germany ; and the home of his boyhood, which he 
gratefully remembered, was one which afforded every facility for the proper 
training of his richly gifted nature. Then followed reverses, and the Boston 
merchant removed with his household to Hamburg. For five years his son en- 
joyed the rare advantages of instruction and discipline in the schools of that 
famous free-city of Germany. 

Record of Ministers. 38 e 

At the age of fifteen he returned to his native land, and we find him in 
Danbury, Conn., for the first time in his life, fully thrown upon his own re- 
sources. He entered the employ of a thrifty hatter, who being an old-time 
family friend, treated him with unusual consideration. 

From a few facts which have floated down to us it is made evident that he 
was an uncommonly brilliant and attractive lad. He was a Puritan in his 
upright, downright love for honesty and truth ; his German culture had trained 
and quickened his naturally acute powers, and the inimitable humor which 
fascinated his friends to the last, threw a charm over all his words and ways. 

He was a leader among scores of fellow-workers, but the leader was led 
one day to the old Methodist meeting-house. A turning-point in his history 
was thus reached. The pungent appeals to the conscience, and the winning 
words of invitation which he heard from the pulpit and in the prayer- 
meeting brought him very soon as a penitent to the Saviour. When he was 
sixteen years of age, though sternly opposed by all his kindred, he identified 
himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He kept himself at this period 
under self-appointed rules of study, and the fruits of his efforts were mani- 
fest to all. There is a tradition that at the age of eighteen he delivered an 
address in Danbury, upon a topic of public interest, which a high officer of 
the State pronounced a most extraordinary production. At this time, too, he 
seemed, without loud professions, to have made steady progress in the Chris- 
tian life. Upon a fly-leaf of one of his private note books, he wrote, in a bold 
hand, this brief but characteristic prayer: " O, for wisdom, for heavenly 
wisdom ! " In the social meeting he would now and then speak briefly, but 
always to the point, and sometimes with great power ! ' 

January 5, 1836, before he was nineteen years of age, he was 
married to Lucretia Hawley, in Danbury, Conn. All this 
time he was advancing toward the point of applying himself 
to the great life-work to which God had called him. Dr. Hunt 
writes further : 

Not hastily, but after long consideration, he accepted from his pastor, the 
late Rev. John Crawford, a license to exhort. This paper bears the date of 
April 26, 1840. On the,igth of September, 1841, he received a license to 
preach. This document bears the honored name of Charles W. Carpenter, 
who was always regarded by our brother as a model presiding elder. Six 
months later he removed to New York city, and became a member of the 
Forsyth-street church. 

PASTORAL RECORD : 1842, supply, Haddam, Conn. ; 1843, (New 
York Conf.,) returned to Haddam cir., with C. Brainard ; 1844-1845, Madison; 
1845, ordained deacon; in 1846, Windsor cir., with C. Brainard; 1847, ordained 
elder; 1847-1848, New York, Vestry-street; 1849-1850, Poughkeepsie, Can- 
non-street ; 1851-1852, (Phila. Conf..) Philadelphia, Union church, with James 
Mitchell, sup'y; 1853, (New York Conf.,) sup'y at Poughkeepsie, Cannon- 
street, with R. A. Chalker; 1854, sup'y, ditto, with John W. Beach; 1855- 

1 Rev. A. S. Hunt, D.D., in Minutes New York East Conference, 1883, p. 57. 

386 Old Sands Street Church. 

1856, agent Tract Society, practically sup'y ; 1857, sup'y, Poughkeepsie, Can- 
non street ; 1858, Poughkeepsie, Cannon-street; 1859-1862, presiding elder, 
Rhinebeck Dist., N. Y.; 1863-1865, Rhinebeck; 1866, stationed at Peekskill — 
went to Europe; 1867-1868, sup'y, in Europe ; 1869 (latter part)-l87l, 
Brooklyn, Sands-street ; 1872-1874, Hartford, Conn., First ch. ; 1875, 
presiding elder, New York Dist.; 1876-1878, Brooklyn,. Summerfield ch. ; 
1879, Brooklyn, Greene ave.; 1880-1882, presiding elder, Brooklyn Dist. 

He was assigned, as we have seen, to an important pastorate 
in the city of New York (Vestry-street) after a brief experience 
in small country charges, but "he promptly impressed the 
entire Methodism of the city as a remarkably gifted and effi- 
cient preacher of the gospel." A serious accident in his child- 
hood, by which one eye was lost and the other injured, accounts 
for the appearance of his name on the supernumerary list for a 
number of years. 

His wife died in Poughkeepsie, November 2, 1858, and he 
was again united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Andrews, on 
the nth of December, i860, in the town of Richmond, Mass. 
In 1866, he was appointed United States consul at Carlsruhe, 
Germany, where he received skillful and successful treatment 
for the improvement of his sight. The Wesleyan University 
conferred upon him the degree of Doctor in Divinity in 1873. 

When speaking of death he had often expressed a preference 
for a sudden departure, and this desire was not denied him. He 
died of neuralgia of the heart at his home in Brooklyn, March 
19, 1883. It was the day after a Sabbath of very wearisome 
labor; he went home to take a little rest before holding a quar- 
terly conference in the evening, but before the sun set " he 
passed out of our sight." His funeral service was held in the 
Summerfield church. The pall-bearers were the Rev. Dr. J. O. 
Peck, Mark Hoyt, the Rev. George E. Reed, Judge Reynolds, 
the Rev. I. Simmons, W c W Wallace, the Rev J. S. Breckin- 
ridge, and ex-Mayor Booth. The exercises were under the 
direction of the Rev. Thomas H. Burch, presiding elder of the 
New York District, and the other preachers who participated 
were G. P Mains, W T Hill, G. A. Hubbell, W D. Thomp- 
son, Henry Baker, W. L. Phillips, A. S. Hunt, Thomas Stephen- 
son, H. A. Buttz and O. H. Tiffany. Mr. Burch said : 

Twelve months ago there were four of us, members of the same conference, 
dwelling not far apart, and closely related to each other ; at least I felt the 
three to be closely related to me. Two of them were my friends of thirty years' 
standing; the other I had known scarcely a third of that period, but so sweet 

Record of Ministers. 387 

and tender had been the fellowship between us as to seem equally long-es- 
tablished. One of the four. Dr. George W Woodruff, died last March. At 
the funeral services which followed, the other three officiated, one of them, 
Dr. Weed, directing the exercises. Less than four months afterward Dr. Weed 
died suddenly, passing, apparently, without a pang to his rest. A great 
throng gathered in the church of which he was pastor to give him reverent 
and tender burial. Dr. Kettell presided at those services, and I was permitted 
to take part. The sad year, well-nigh spent, had yet a day to run, when, un- 
anticipated by himself or his family, and to the sore amazement of us all, Dr. 
Kettell ceased to breathe. And now, the survivor of the four, I am charged 
with the direction of these funeral rites. 2 

The following day the remains were taken to Poughkeepsie 
for burial. Dr. Buckley, who was one of Dr. Kettell's Sunday- 
school boys in Philadelphia, in 1852, wrote as follows, in The 
Christian Advocate : 

The editor of this paper has seen Dr. Kettell as the pastor of his youth, 
twice as his presiding elder, once as his Successor in the pastorate, in the busi- 
ness of the annual conference, the less formal debates of the New York 
Preachers' Meeting, and the stately proceedings of the Board of Managers 
of the Missionary Society. He has wandered with him among the hills and 
valleys and along the waters of Mount Desert, and at all times admired his 
remarkable clearness of intellect, his unusual felicity of statement, his wide 
range of thought, his* abundance of instructive anecdote, his genuine humor, 
his candor, his marked ability in the pulpit, his unfailing good temper, his 
easy refinement of manners. 

The results of his life-work are not to be measured by statistics. He was 
not a pioneer; he was not one who burst upon a community like an army in 
battle array ; he did not excel in the " management of meetings." But the 
sum of his influence was to command respect for the church, reverence for the 
truth, esteem for himself as a minister and a man. A philosophic and semi- 
humanitarian vein, doubtless to some extent traceable to his New England 
origin and his long residence in Germany, ran through his preaching, which 
mads it very interesting to the intellectual, but diminished its immediate 
effects. Fear in the utterance of what he believed true he seemed never to 

His conference memorial says : 

His mind was one of great breadth and fullness, and was well 
poised. He had keen analytic power, a wonderful memory, especially for 
matters of history, in which he found perpetual delight. He was loyal to 
truth as he saw it, and if he sometimes saw as we could not see, we knew, 
nevertheless, that his integrity and genuineness were unimpeachable. The 
law of conscience was to him clothed with the might of God. To 'his health- 
ful sense of humor, allusion has already been made, and it may be added that 
his conversation and his extemporaneous utterances sparkled at times with 

» a The Christian Advocate, March 29, 1883. 

388 Old Sands Street Church. 

dignified but pungent wit. He was master of terse and idiomatic English, 
exhibiting in his chain of words the most extraordinary felicity. Large words 
and high-sounding words he did not use, but fitting words, so fitting that or- 
dinary men might search for hours and yet fail to find the delicately-shaded 
epithets which fell from his lips with perfect naturalness and inimitable grace. 
In the pulpit he was, perhaps, less skillful in his appeals to the unconverted 
than in his addresses to believers. It must not be understood from this state- 
ment that he did not sometimes stir the consciences of sinners, for he certainly 
proved his ability to do this, but as a preacher upon themes aiming at the 
edification of the church he was one of a thousand. 

Lucretia, his first wife, was a native of Danbury, Conn. She 
was nine years his senior — a woman " of a very quiet, retiring 
disposition, and faithful to her duties." She died in Pough- 
keepsie, N. Y., as already stated, in the forty-second year of 
her age. Three daughters were the fruit of this union. They 
are all married, and are still living. Dr. Kettell left a widow, 
who, with their only son, resides in Brooklyn, N. Y. 

■■^ N '\^ '/. 






he ancestors of the Rev Thomas Gilbert Osborn, 
A.M., were among the early settlers of East Hamp- 
ton, Long Island. They came from Lynn, Mass., 
but were originally from Maidstone, in Kent, En- 
gland. Thomas Osborn and John Osborn were named in the char- 
ter of East Hampton when it was incorporated under the co- 
lonial government of New York by a patent from Governor 
Nicoll, March 13, 1666. x From one of these was descended 
Daniel Osborn, of East Hampton, who was born before 1700, 
and to whom the ancestry of T. G. Osborn is definitely traced. 
Daniel Osborn, grandfather of Thomas G., was a graduate of 
Yale College. He practiced law in Cutchogue, L. I., and was a 
member of the New York Legislature in 1787 and 1788. His 
son, Dr. Thomas Osborn, of Riverhead, had an extensive prac- 
tice in Suffolk County for many years. Elizabeth, wife of Dr. 
Osborn, and mother of the subject of this sketch, was grand- 
daughter of Colonel Phineas Fanning, of the Revolution. Her 
father was Deacon Enoch Jagger, of the Presbyterian church in 
West Hampton, L. I. Being always of Arminian views, Deacon 
Jagger at once hailed the coming of the Methodist preachers 
into his neighborhood, joined their communion, and assisted in 
building the first Methodist Episcopal church in the town. Dr. 
and Mrs. Thomas Osborn, although educated in the strictest 
creed of the Presbyterian Church, were always Arminian in be- 
lief, and for years before they united with the Methodists, their 
house was a home for the itinerant preachers. Their son 
writes : 

1 See Bayles' History of Suffolk County. 

39° Old Sands Street Church. 

Richard Wymond used to tell, with a good deal of pleasure, the story of his 
first meeting with my father. He had been sent to a large circuit on the east 
end of Long Island, including no small part of Suffolk County. He was an 
entire stranger in those parts. As he drew near to the pleasant village of 
Riverhead he drove into the pond to water his weary horse. He was feeling 
lonely and sad. Just then a portly man in a gig drove in from the opposite 
side. Looking keenly at his broad-brimmed hat and strait coat, he said, 
" You are a Methodist preacher. Just drive up to the house you see there ; 
give your horse to the men, and make yourself at home until my return. I 
am Dr. Osborn, and my house is a home for all the preachers." 

My mother united with the church under the ministry of the Rev. John 
Trippett, and my father became a member while Dr. James Floy was pastor 
in Riverhead. My father contributed most of the funds to build the original 
Methodist church in that place. He died in peace in 1849, aged seventy 
years, and my mother died triumphantly in 1867, while visiting her daughter, 
the wife of Professor T. Stone, in the Cooper Institute, New York. 2 

Thomas G. Osborn was born in Riverhead, L. I., October 15, 
1820. He prepared for college at the Franklin Academy, near 
Riverhead, where he remained three years under the instruc- 
tion of the Rev. Phineas Robinson, of the Presbyterian church, 
and a graduate of Hamilton College. Having spent four years 
in the Wesleyan University, he was graduated in 1840, with J. W. 
Lindsay, Joseph Cummings, Chauncey Shaffer, and other men 
of note. While a thoughtless youth in college, he and young 
Lindsay, his intimate friend, by mutual agreement gave their 
hearts to Christ. He was then about nineteen years of age. 
Dr. Francis Hodgson, pastor in Middletown at the time, was 
the chief agent in his conversion. 

Mr. Osborn was made a member of the Phi Beta Kappa So- 
ciety after he left the university, and received the degree of 
A.M. in 1843. His time, for the first three years after gradua- 
tion, was divided between the law office of Judge Miller, of 
Riverhead, the Harvard Law School at Cambridge, Mass., and 
the Union Theological Seminary in New York. He received an 
exhorter's license June 27, 1843, and two months later he was 
licensed to preach, the paper being signed by the presiding elder, 
Stephen Martindale. 

CONFERENCE RECORD : 1844-1845, (New York Conf.,) South- 
ampton, L- I.; 1846, ordained deacon by Bp*. Hedding ; 1846-1847, Bridge- 
hampton ; 1848, ordained elder by Bp. Waugh ; 1848-1849, (New York East f 
Conf.,) Patchogue ; 1850, sup'd ; 1851-1852, Birmingham, Conn.; 1853, 
Bridgeport and East Bridgeport; 1855-1856, Waterbury ; 1857-1858, New 

8 Letter to the author. 

Record of Ministers. ^i 

York, Twenty-seventh-street ; 1859, New York, Allen-street ; 1860, ditto, with J. 
Ellis; 1861, Brooklyn, Summerfield ch.; 1862-1863, New Haven, St. John-street; 
1864, sup'd one month, then presiding elder, Bridgeport Dist.; 1865-1866, sup'd, 
residence New Haven ; 1867-1868, Riverhead ; 1S69-1871, presiding elder 
Bridgeport Dist.; 1872, presiding elder, Long Island South Dist.; 1873- 
1874, Portchester ; 1875-1876, sup'y ; 1877-1879, Riverhead, L. I. ; 1S80- 
1884, sup'y- 

In Southampton, where he began his ministry, he organized 
the first Methodist society, which has grown to be a large and 
flourishing church. The friends of Methodism had purchased 
the Presbyterian church, and were rejuvenating that solid struct- 
ure. Their young minister preached in the village school- 
house until the lecture-room of the church was finished. As 
the fruit of a revival during the first year seventy were added 
to the church by conversion, and about a dozen by letter from 
the Presbyterian church. About one hundred and fifty mem- 
bers were received during a revival in Birmingham, Conn., while 
he was laboring there. In Allen-street, New York, during his 
ministry, about two hundred were converted. The most signal 
outpouring of the Spirit under his ministry was in 1857, in East 
Twenty-seventh-street, New York. Here, during the revival, 
more than five hundred professed conversion at the altar, and 
joined the Methodist church. It was considered the most 
wonderful work of grace in the city of New York during that 
year of general revival. The astonishing magnitude of the work 
was largely due to " unintermitted pastoral visitation" At that 
time John Stephenson, who was superintendent of the Sunday- 
school, trustee, steward, class-leader, and chorister, co-operated 
most heartily with the pastor. Every Monday morning a list 
of all new scholars who had attended the Sabbath-school was 
left at the parsonage. The paper was in Mr. Stephenson's hand- 
writing, and contained the names of all new scholars, and the 
names, nationality, occupation, and religious preference (if any) 
of their parents. All these families were systematically visited 
the same week by the pastor, with this valuable directory in his 
hand, their temporal and spiritual wants inquired into, and, if 
they were not attendants upon any place of worship, they were 
invited to the Twenty-seventh-street church. In this way scores 
We gathered in who never previously attended any church, 
and were made happy followers of the Lord. Among the con- 
verts were Edwin F- Hadley and J. Stanley D'Orsay, who aft- 
erward became preachers in the New York East Conference. 

392 Old Sands Street Church. 

Joseph Pullman (now the Rev. Dr. Pullman, of Brooklyn) was 
at that time a Bible-class scholar in Twenty-seventh-street Sun- 
day-school, and a student in the New York Free Academy 

Mr. Osborn's health was seriously impaired by exposure and 
incessant labor on the Bridgeport District, on account of which 
he has been compelled at two different times to resign his place 
as presiding elder, and to hold a superannuated or supernume- 
rary relation for several years. He was a delegate to General 
Conference in 1872. By invitation of the Methodist people of 
his native village he has been with them two terms — five years 
in all — as their pastor. He recommended the Rev. E. F- Had- 
ley as a suitable person to take his place in 1869 and supervise 
the erection of a new church. Desirous of assisting in the 
good work, he sent the trustees a check for five hundred dol- 
lars, and, while serving as pastor there the second time, in or- 
der to sweep off all the debt from the church and parsonage, 
he contributed an additional hundred dollars. 

The accompanying portrait is a very correct likeness of Mr. 
Osborn as he appeared when, as presiding elder, he was asso- 
ciated with the Sands-street church. He is a man of more 
than medium height, light complexion, blue eyes, auburn hair 
sprinkled with gray, quick movement, and ready and rapid ut- 
terance. His sermons are intellectual and practical, and usu- 
ally delivered with an unction that renders them eminently 

Mr. Osborn's domestic life has been one of uncommon be- 
reavement, as appears from the notices of his three wives and? 
two children, deceased, which are published at the close of this 
sketch. His present wife, Grace E., to whom he was married 
in 1869, was formerly the consort of Captain Elbridge Colburn, 
of the First Connecticut Cavalry, who died in the service of his 
country. Surviving children of Thomas G. Osborn: Mary E.^ 
born 1849 ; Thomas S., born 1857. 

Jerusha L. (Cook,) first wife of the Rev. T G. Osborn, was 
married March 23, 1846, and died in the parsonage in East 
Twenty-seventh-street, New York, August 25, 1857, aged thirty 
one years. On her tombstone are inscribed the precious words, 
" Forever with the Lord." 

Maria Jane, his second wife, sister of the above, was bora 

Record of Ministers. 393 

in Bridgehampton, L. I. She was converted at ten years of 
age, and joined the church at fifteen. She was married to Mr. 
Osborn September 1, 1858, and was " a good mother to the chil- 
dren of her sainted sister." She died in the St. John-street 
parsonage, in New Haven, March 5, 1863, aged thirty-two 
years. 3 

Calista E. (Barton,) Mr. Osborn 's third wife, experienced 
religion at the age of ten years, at South Hadley Falls. She 
was married May 18, 1864, and died in Riverhead December 
22, 1867, aged thirty-three years. Her obituary notice says : 

In class her seat was seldom vacant, and one of many similar passages from 
her Journal will suffice to show her estimate of this means of grace : " At- 
tended class this evening, and had a blessed meeting ; have felt like rejoicing 
all the day long." She was an exemplary Christian, amiable in all the walks 
of life, and universally beloved. The closing words of her Journal, written 
hut a little while before her death, are as sweetly expressive of her whole life 
as words can well be : "I will try to submit without murmuring to my heav- 
enly Father's will, and feel sure that it is right." Her last audible words in 
reply to her husband, who asked, " Is it all well ? " were, " All is well." 4 

The three wives repose side by side in the cemetery in 

Children deceased: Thomas G., infant, died December 21, 
1853 ; Isabel C, died March 7, 1865, in the eleventh year of her 

3 Notice by Heman Bangs, in The Christian Advocate. 

4 Dr. L. S. Weed, in The Christian Advocate. 


he Rev Freeman Pratt Tower is of the seventh 
generation descended from one John Tower, who 
was born in England in 1609, and. who came to this 
country in early life and settled near Boston. Those 
familiar with the genealogy say that all the " Towers " in this 
country are the posterity of this man. 

F. P Tower was born in Eastford, Conn., February 13, 1838. 
When he was two years old the family moved to Dudley, Mass., 
and three years later to Southbridge, in the same State. 

He studied awhile in Rawson's family school, in Thompson, 
Conn., but his preparation for college was chiefly made at the 
Nichols Academy, in Dudley, Mass. He was assistant princi- 
pal of this academy several terms, and one term principal of a 
public school in Pomfret, Conn. 

Most of the good and useful men whom God has chosen to be 
his ministers were converted in very early life, and Mr. Tower is 
not an exception to this rule. It may prove to be one part of 
the mission of this series of biographies to furnish examples of 
the great honor Christ confers upon those who seek him in 
early life. From eight years of age, and even farther back in 
unremembered infancy, to the ages of sixteen and eighteen, by 
far the larger number and the best and most useful of the Chris- 
tians herein mentioned, gave their hearts to the Lord. At 
Southbridge, Mass., under the ministry of the Rev. W R. Bag- 
nail, in the year 1850, at the age of twelve, Freeman P Tower 
exercised saving faith in Christ. He was licensed as a local 
preacher when nineteen years of age, and very soon thereafter 
his presiding elder, the Rev. Jefferson Hascall, employed him 
as pastor of one of the churches on his district. 

Mr. Tower entered the Wesleyan Univetsity a sophomore in 
i860, and was graduated in 1863. He was pastor of a church 
during two years of his college course. 



Record of Ministers. 395 

MINISTERIAL RECORD : 1859-1860, Hardwick, Mass., a supply; 
1861-1862, Plantsville, Conn., a supply ; 1863-1865, (New York East Conf.,) 
Cheshire; 1865, ordained deacon; 1S66-1868, Meriden ; 1867, ordained 
elder ; 1869-1871, Brooklyn, Greenpoint Tabernacle ; 1872-1873, Brooklyn, 
Sands-street; 1874, South Norwalk, Conn.; 1875, (California Conf.,) 
Alameda, Cal.; 1876-1878, (Oregon Conf.,) Salem, Oregon; 1879-18S4, 
agent, Willamette University ; 1880, also presiding elder, Portland Dist. 

Mr. Tower's pastoral labors in the East, beginning with his 
youthful ministry in Hardwick, were signally blessed in the 
conversion of sinners. The young, especially, were won to 
Christ in great numbers. While in Meriden, besides witnessing 
spiritual prosperity, he gained great credit for his successful 
management of an important church-building enterprise, and 
in his later charges he has proved himself " the right man in 
the right place," by his persevering energy in promoting the 
financial interests of needy churches, and of the oldest Protest- 
ant institution of learning on the Pacific coast. The church 
in Alameda nearly doubled its membership and began to build 
a new church edifice during his administration. The carpen- 
ters were putting the roof on the building when he was invited 
to Salem, Oregon, and appointed by the bishop to that place. 
The church had been struggling for six years, with partial suc- 
cess, to erect a house of worship, and he found the congrega- 
tion holding services in the lecture room. The church edifice, 
the best in the state of Oregon, was completed during his second 
year, and a new parsonage built, the total cost being about 

While he has been the agent of Willamette University, the 
financial condition has been improved to the amount of about 
$40,000, more than $10,000 of which was raised in the Eastern 
States. He is at present (1884) engaged in raising $20,000 to 
endow a Bishop E. O. Haven memorial professorship in this 

It fell to his lot to deliver the principal address at the funeral 
of Bishop Haven — "a very able paper, which gave a full state- 
ment of the bishop's career, and a just analysis of his char- 
acter." * 

We might content ourselves with this brief outline of facts, 
and leave the rest to the memory of Mr. Tower's friends. 
They will not fail to call to mind occasions when the gospel 

1 Rev. George W Woodruff, in The Christian Advocate. 

396 Old Sands Street Church. 

message from his lips was attended with marvelous power ; for 
example, the sermon on "the judgment," at the Forestville 
camp-meeting, in 1864. His sermons are intellectual and log- 
ical, and extemporaneously delivered ; his manner is earnest and 
persuasive ; his voice full and clear. In conversation and in 
preaching he speaks with deliberation, and in company has an 
air of abstraction, which is sometimes very noticeable. A more 
conscientious Christian, and a more unselfish, honorable friend, 
one rarely finds. 

Mr. Tower was married, August 20, 1863, to Miss Julia 
A. Cleveland, of Barre, Mass. She was educated at Mt. 
Holyoke Seminary, and has been a devoted Christian from her 
childhood. They removed to the Pacific coast in search of a 
friendlier climate, and mainly for the benefit of Mrs. Tower's 
health. Only one of their three children survives, namely, 
Olin Freeman, now twelve years of age. 




he Rev. George Taylor is a native of the village 
of Honley, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England. 
He was born on the 12th of May, 1820. His godly 
Methodist parents taught him the fear of the Lord, 
and with them he went very early to class and prayer meetings 
and the public worship of God. Through their efforts and the 
pious influence of Sunday-school teachers, and especially of an 
earnest local preacher named Edward Brooks, little George 
Taylor, at the age of eight years, became a happy Christian 
and joined the class. He received his first love-feast ticket 
from the hand of the Rev. John Bowers. We have here an- 
other example of the reality and blessedness of childhood con- 
version. Not only do most of the subjects of these biograph- 
ical sketches stand forth as witnesses of the adaptation of 
converting grace to the heart of a child, but they show that of 
all who believe in Christ, the very young, when properly cared 
for, are most likely to steadfastly maintain their faith. We 
have no backslidings of this little eight-year-old convert to 
record, nor of scarcely any other who made a like early and 
noble choice. 

He attended the common school, and received classical in- 
struction from the Rev. J. Lowe, of the Episcopal Church. In 
his eighteenth year he began to labor as a local preacher on 
the Glossop circuit, in the Manchester district. After attend- 
ing the Rev. Thomas Allin's theological school in Altringham, 
(now merged into the college of the Methodist New Connec- 
tion, in Sheffield,) he came, in 1843, to this country, recom- 
mended to the Methodist Episcopal Church, there being no 
opening for young men in the ministry of his church in En- 
gland at that time. He became a member of the Second- 
street church in New York city, of which Dr. Bangs was pas- 
tor. After a few months he entered upon the pastoral work. 

APPOINTMENTS: 1843, Wolcottville. Conn., a supply; 1844, 
(New York Conf.,) Harlem, N. Y., with R. Seaman, sup'y ; 
1845, Westerlow; 1846, ordained deacon; 1846-1847, Delhi; 1848-1849, 

398 Old Sands Slreel Church. 

(New York East Conf.,) Astoria, L. I. ; 1849, ordained deacon ; 1850, Bris- 
tol, Conn.; 1851-1852, Brooklyn, Eighteenth-street; 1853-1854, Bridg ... 
hampton, L. I.: 1855-1856, New York. Twenty-seventh-street ; 1857-1858, 
Rye, N. Y.; 1859-1860, Brooklyn, First Place; 1861-1862, Greenpoint ; 1S63- 
1865, Williamsburgh, Grand-street (Gothic) ; 1866- 1868, Jamaica, L. I. ; 
1809-1871, Flushing; 1872-1873, New York, Willett-street ; 1874-1876, 
Brooklyn, Sands-street; 1877-1879, Greenwich, Conn. ; 1880, Parkville, 
L. I.; 1881-1883, Patchogue; 1884, Southold. 

After traveling five years he was married to Miss Susan 
Hatfield, of Delhi, N. Y Their living children, Josephine, 
Jennie Z., and Susie Zf., are members of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church. The records of the Sands-street church and Sun- 
day-school show that Mr. Taylor received in that place (as 
elsewhere) no little assistance from the several members of his 

Mr. Taylor is singularly modest, and his voice is rarely 
heard upon the conference floor, yet his talent and useful- 
ness are well known. His countenance, voice, and manner 
are exceedingly attractive. He stands very high in the confi- 
dence and esteem of the preachers and people within the 
bounds of the New York East Conference. His brethren 
elected him a delegate to the General Conference in 1868. 


he Rev. Albert Schuyler Graves, D. D., was born 
of Methodist parents, Augustus and Lydia (Kelsey) 
___ Graves, in Salisbury, Vt, January 17, 1824. In 
1839, at the age of fifteen, he was baptized and received into 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Salisbury, by the late 
Rev. David P. Hurlburd, of the Troy Conference. He pre- 
pared for college at West Poultney, Vt., and was graduated 
at Wesleyan University in 1846. 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: 1846, West Troy, N. Y., a supply; 1847. 
Grotoncir. N. Y., with W, N. Cobb; 1848, ditto, with Alonzo Wood; 1849, 
ordained deacon by Bishop Janes; 1849-1850, Moravia, 1851, ordained el- 
der by Bishop Hamlin— Ithaca, Seneca-street; 1852-1853, Oxford; 1854, Uti- 
ca, Bleeker street; 1853-1856, Cortland; 1857-1858, Auburn, North street; 1859, 
ditto, sup'y; 1860-1 863, presiding elder, Cortland Dist.; 1864-1869, Principal 
of Oneida (now Central New York) Conf. Sem., Cazanovia, N. Y.; 1870-1871, 
(New York East Conf.,) Fair Haven, Conn.; 1871, traveled in Europe; 1872- 
1873, West Winsted; 1874-1875, New Rochelle, N. Y.; 1876, presiding el- 
der, L. I. South Dist.; 1877-1879, presiding elder, Brooklyn Dist,; 1880- 
1881, Brooklyn, South Third-st.; 1882-1883, Southold; 1884, Port Jefferson. 

He was secretary of the Oneida Conference several years, 
and was honored by that body with a seat in the General 
Conference in 1864 and in 1868. He was also a member of the 
New York East Conference delegation in 1880. That same 
year the preachers of the Brooklyn District presented him 
with an elegant watch as a token of their esteem. M r. Graves 
is an able minister, and as teacher, pastor, and presiding el- 
der, has been uniformly successful. He has a genial coun- 
tenance and a pleasant voice, and his manner is attractive 
both in and out of the pulpit. 

On the 19th of October, 185 1, he was married by the Rev. 
Elias Bowen, to Miss Harriet A. Grant, of Ithaca, N. Y., 
who died July 20, 1858. He was married to Miss Isabella 
G. McIntosh, of Vernon, N. Y., April 19, 1862. Of the 
children, seven in number, a son and a daughter aldne sur- 
vive. Their names are Arthur Eugene and Belle Evangeline. 



ames Parker, father of the Rev. Lindsay Parker, 
was a Methodist and a "prayer leader" in Ireland. 
He married Miss Jane Lindsay, an Episcopalian, 
who joined the Wesleyans with her husband. Lindsay, their 
son, was born in Dublin. He attended the Wesleyan school 
in that city, of which the Rev. Robert Crook, LL. D. was 
head master. Young Parker was converted when about 
fifteen years of age. After spending some time in a law- 
yer's office, he yielded to the earnest solicitation of the Rev. 
Charles Lynn Grant, superintendent of Abbey-street circuit, 
Dublin, and joined the Irish Conference of the Wesleyan 
Methodist Church. Having preached in his native country 
nearly four years, he came to America in August, 1873, and 
joined the Twenty-seventh-street Methodist Episcopal church 
in New York city, whose quarterly conference immediately 
licensed him as a local preacher, and recommended him to 
the traveling connection. He rendered efficient service in 
the Methodist ministry about ten years longer, and then 
joined the Protestant Episcopal Church, in which he has 
been advanced to full orders. 

MINISTERIAL RECORD: A few years prior to 1873, (Irish Conf.J 
Dungannon; Portadown; Knock, a suburb of Belfast; 1873, supply, Hoboken, 
N. J.; 1874, (New York East Conference,) ordained deacon by Bishop Wiley — 
Darien, Conn.; 1875-1S76, Ansonia; 1877, ordained elder by Bishop Peck; 1877- 
1879, Brooklyn, Sands-street; 1S80-1882, New York, Sixty-first-street; 
1883, withdrew; 1884, first assistant of the Rev. W. S. Rainsford, rector of St. 
George's Protestant Episcopal Church, New York. 

Mr. Parker was married in Darien, Conn., to Miss Fran- 
ces A. Reed. His pulpit talent and his fine social qualities 
render him exceedingly popular, especially with the voting. 
He writes to the author concerning the transfer of his church 
relations as follows: "The main cause of my change of base 
was dissatisfaction with the itinerancy 

Jr UjAjLcfatAJucfoG 



prominent place on the roll of the pastors of old 
Sands-street church belongs to the Rev John 
Storry Breckinridge, A. M. He was born July 
12, 1837, in Augusta, N. Y., and named after the Rev. John 
Storry, an eminent English clergyman. 

His father, the Rev. E. W. Breckinridge, is a native 
of Dover, England, and came to this country while yet a 
young man. He was already married, and a local preacher 
in the Wesleyan Church. Having united with the Duane- 
street Church in New York city, he was soon urged to give 
himself wholly to the ministry, and in 1836 joined the Onei- 
da Conference. In the year 1876, after forty years of faithful 
service, he was entered upon the list of the retired and su- 
perannuated ministers of the Wyoming Conference. 

The mother o